Poland • 1891−1953
Moses (Moise) Kisling (FR. Moïse Kisling; 22 January 1891, Krakow, Poland - April 29, 1953, Sanary-sur-Mer, France) was a French painter of the Paris school of Polish origin. Kiesling received his artistic education in kraków, then moved to Paris. During the First world war received French citizenship and lived in France almost his entire life, except several years spent in the United States. Kisling was friendly with many artists who lived in Paris at one time with him, especially with Amedeo Modigliani. Both artists have had a major impact on the style and creativity of each other.

Features of works of Moses Kisling: the artist became famous thanks to the surrealistic pictures of naked women, portraits of men with unnaturally enlarged eyes almond in shape and the landscapes in which there is the influence of the fauves.

The most famous paintings of Moses Kisling: "Kiki of Montparnasse in a red jumper and a blue scarf", "Portrait Of Jean Cocteau", "Nude on red sofa", "Renee Kisling", "Small head brunette".

Moses Kisling, apparently, life had an unusual feature, a kind of instinct that allowed him to be at the right time in the right place. And next to the right people. Is flair sometimes helped him avoid deadly hazards, and have sometimes resulted in the thick of things.

The spirit of freedom

When Kiesling in 1910 he came to Paris from Krakow, there were two main places where seething artistic life. During these years, the French capital attracts young and ambitious artists from all over Europe, and because in the media they often were constrained, then settled in the dorms - “Floating Laundry” (Bateau-Lavoir) and “the Hive” (La Ruche). Living conditions in both left much to be desired, but the room was worth mere pennies, and the gate cabaret “Agile rabbit” in Montmartre, the poor artists could get free soup. Despite the cold, creaky floors, drafts and lack of amenities, the artists were happy in these hostels, because it was a real creative freedom, there was life itself.

At different times in the Bateau-Lavoir lived Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, Max JacobAndré salmon (who, by the way, and called the hostel “a floating Laundry” because of the similarity with the old barge, on which washed clothes). The hive was populated by mostly immigrants from Eastern Europe Marc Chagall, Chaim Soutine, Ossip Zadkine- but besides that here dwelt, for example, Fernand Legerand Amedeo Modigliani.

Moses Kisling managed to live in both dorms and enjoyed the spirit of freedom. Like many artists of Jewish origin, he fled to Paris in particular and Judaic ban on images of humans and animals. Kiesling probably already knew that the portraits and Nudes will occupy a Central place in his work.

Fearless duelist

The Kisling was lucky enough to go from Krakow (which at the time was part of Austria-Hungary) long before Germany came to power the Nazis. But for the most part, his departure was not the merit of the artist, are his teachers Józef Pankiewicz. He was Professor at the Academy of fine arts in Cracow, and first saw the talent in budding the Moses Kisling. It Pankevich, who for most of his life experimented in various artistic movements (from impressionism to cubism), advised the young Moses to go to the capital of France.

In Paris Kisling first settled in Montmartre and did not miss a single more or less significant events in the Bohemian environment. Moreover, he himself became the initiator of these events. For example, one of the pictures of the bloodied face of the young artist was included in many of the Paris Newspapers and magazines. It happened after the duel (in 1914!) with a colleague Leopold Gottliebthe second of which was the famous Mexican Diego Rivera. None of the duelists, fortunately, was not seriously injured, but this story out of the usual framework even extravagant Montmartre, received wide publicity.

In 1912, Kisling decided to move to Montparnasse, where he lived for the next 27 years. And again, out of the unerring instinct of the artist. He was one of the first artists who left Montmartre. After the First World war Montparnasse became the center of artistic life in Paris. And here, in August 1917 in a big way was the wedding of Renee Kisling Gros. The feast lasted three days, the happy couple and their guests moved from one hot spots of Montparnasse to another until falling from exhaustion.

For the first few years spent in Paris, Moses Kisling is so akin to the French that with the beginning of World war I without hesitation went to the front. He joined the French Foreign Legion, but served for a short time. In 1915, the artist was seriously wounded in the battle of the Somme and returned to Paris. New home Kisling was awarded for the courage of French citizenship, but, unfortunately, could not change his Jewish origins. Therefore, already during the Second World war, when German troops occupied France, the artist had to move to the States. In this war he also managed to take part, although at the time he had turned 49 years old.

Inspiration schedule

Despite the love for the Bohemian way of life, in all that concerned the work, Moses Kisling was pedantic and meticulous. He began drawing in childhood and has spent much time honing his skill. The artist set to work at exactly 9 am, definitely stopping for lunch, and then wrote again till evening. However, on a strict schedule did not prevent him to maintain relationships with friends and colleagues. Frequent Studio guests Kisling in Montparnasse was his buddies Pablo Picassoand Amedeo Modigliani, whose Studio was in the neighborhood.

During the First world war artists who remained in Paris, has not stopped working. Kiesling friends arranged joint exhibitions in cafes and small galleries. And in 1919 took place the first personal exhibition of Moses Kislinga in the gallery, Drue. Over time, the paintings began to sell well, he became famous for his images of Nudes. Not to say that Kisling fully immersed in modernism, his paintings-more on a certain lyrical vision. The artist has simplified and rounded forms, at the same time, making their naked characters are very “earthly”. His few landscapes (1, 2, 3) is often compared to the works of Marc Chagall, but particularly noteworthy are the famous unique portraits of Kisling, the characters are watching from the huge canvas through half-closed eyes, giving them not devoid of charm a little puppet form (1, 2, 3, 4).

In addition to working one of the main values Kisling had a family. Renee, whom he met in 1916, was with him throughout life. She was not beautiful by conventional standards, but compensated for this “lack of” personal qualities, intelligence and stunning artistic taste. When in 1940, Paris was under Nazi rule, Kisling, taking the decision to move to America, I thought primarily about the safety of his wife and sons. In the States, the artist settled in California and became quite a famous portrait painter, his work has been exhibited in new York and Washington.

Shortly after the Second World war, Kisling returned to France, despite its popularity in America. Apparently, love's second home was stronger than ambition. After returning Kisling settled with his wife and children at his home in Sanary-sur-Mer. Here the artist lived until his death in 1953, and the street on which he lived, since then bears his name.

Author: Eugene Sidelnikov
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