Portrait of a young girl

010049   Maurice Mendjizky [1890-1951] Portrait of a young girl, 1935/ 1945? 
oil on cardboard,  54,5 x 45,5 cm / 68 x 58,5 cm
signed u.r.: "Mendjizky (3/4)5"

Maurice MENDJIZKY [1890-1951] was born in Łódź. He started painting at the age of 7 and when he turned 10 he sold his first canvas. In 1906 Maurice left to Paris to study at the École des Beaux-Arts. Unfortunately his artistic carrer has been stopped because of the military recruitment in Russia. When he returned to Paris in 1913 he got interested in awangarde painting, therfore he started to simulate cubists, fauvists as well as Cezanne's style. In the meantime he listened a lot of classical music. 

His oeuvre consists mostly of landscapes and women portraits. The latters during the 1918-1921, are mostly images of Alice Ernestine Prin - artist partner and muse known also as Kiki de Montparnasse. In 1920 he got his first exhibition at Galerie Lorenceau. Catalogue intrudoction was written by Andre Salmon. In 1921 had place another great presentation of his oeuvre, this time in Polish National Society of Fine Arts. 

Ater his broke up with Kiki, he left Paris and moved to Saint Paul de Vence, where he met his future wife - Rose. 1921 was a year of Maurice great sucess, because a well known art lover and police comissioner Leon Zamaron bought his entire oeuvre. Menjizky constantly exhibited in Galerie Georges Petit and Galerie Kleiman.

In the 30s of XX c. his interests turned to expressionism and as a result his style bacame more dramatic and dynamic. Maurice gladly painted his wife and sons - Claude and Serge. The first, the older one, unfortunately died during the Worl War II. This lost, considerably influenced Maurice output: his canvases became monochromatic. He created 31 drawings representing defence od the Warsaw Ghetto.  Seeing this works Pablo Picasso were supposed to say: "This is the work of art. True symphony of black and white". Artist died because of the larynx cancer in 1951. 

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