The Zadkine museum opened its doors to the public in 1982 and is housed in the home and studios where the sculptor lived and worked from 1928 until his death in 1967.
The buildings and the works making up the museum’s collection were left to the City of Paris by the sculptor’s widow, the painter Valentine Prax (1897-1981).
Born in Smolensk (Russia) in 1890, Ossip Zadkine moved to Paris in 1910, following a spell in England.
He first exhibited his work in Paris at the Salon des Indépendants (Independent Artists’ Exhibition) in 1911.
At that time, he worked out of his studio in the famous La Ruche artists’ community, located in Paris’ 15th arrondissement.
When he moved to rue d’Assas, the site of the present museum, he wrote the following in a letter to his friend, the Belgian author André de Ridder: “Come and see my Assas folly and you’ll understand just how much a man’s life can be changed by a pigeon loft, by a tree”.
Zadkine was one of the most shining examples of this Paris School made up of numerous foreign artists to have chosen to live in the French capital and settle, for the most part, in the city’s Montparnasse district.
Strongly influenced by primitivism, Ossip Zadkine started out by producing exclusively sculptures that were sensitively worked in wood and stone : Les Vendanges
(wood, 1918), Maternité (marble, 1919), Vénus cariatide (wood, 1919).
He then went through a Cubist period (Femme à l’éventail, 1923), and later on took his inspiration from Greek and Roman classical art, which gave his work suppleness and movement.
It also opened it up to mythological themes : Les Ménades (The Maenads), 1929). From the 1940s to 60s, he produced the large bronze sculptures that are displayed in the
garden : Torse de la Ville détruite, a version of the celebrated Destroyed City sculpture that he created in the wake of the Second World War after returning from his exile in
the United States and which was erected in Rotterdam, a city destroyed by bombing, in 1953 ; Orphée (Orpheus), 1956 ; La Forêt humaine (The Human Forest), 1957-1958,
on the theme of the poetic fusion between human and plant life.
In 1988, the City of Paris moved a selection of the artist’s work to the village of Arques (Lot), where Zadkine spent his summers.
This allowed a second museum dedicated to the sculptor to be opened there.
The Zadkine museum is accessible to people with reduced mobility.
To see all the photos from the album, click on the link.
Near The Zadkine museum :The "Jardin du Luxembourg", the Musée du Luxembourg.