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Sleeping Nude

Jules Pascin1928

The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama

The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama

Pascin’s real name was Julius Mordecai Pincas. He studied drawing in Vienna, Munich, and elsewhere and became known for the caricatures he contributed to a magazine. He lived in Paris from 1905 and went to the United States during the First World War. He returned to Paris in 1920, but committed suicide in 1930. He is a representative artist of the _cole de Paris, who painted female portraits tinged with decadence and pathos.

Wavering contours drawn in charcoal and hazy, vague, and thinly applied paint intermingle. Touches of pale yellow, blue, and sepia subtly transform and produce a tender nuance, which provides an overall transparency. Consequently, the woman lying negligently in a doze seems so light that she might be adrift amidst the clouds rather than on a bed. Demonstrating his characteristic as a draftsman capable of accurately capturing the atmosphere, despite using oil paint, Pascin does not close in on the subject’s existence. This subtle style was perfected after the artist’s return from the United States and he took pleasure in portraying girls and women. The expressions in which sentiment surpasses the modeling have a unique evanescence, which reminds us of the period during which he wavered between hope and despair.

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