A new look at the fiery Nicolas de Staël

Around 200 paintings, drawings, engravings and notebooks from numerous private collections are presented at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, as part of the exhibition dedicated to Nicolas de Staël. DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP

CRITICAL – Born Russian in 1914 and died French at the age of 41 in 1955, the painter can be rediscovered at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris. Its retrospective, nourished by private collections, reveals many previously unpublished items.

Nicolas de Staël, it’s almost too good to be true. An artist with an imperial pedigree from this Russia of the tsars who disappears under the ax blows of the revolution. A painter with a dazzling and tragic destiny who success does not protect from suicide, at the age of 41, on March 16, 1955 in Antibes. A man of letters and fire whose correspondence is, according to specialists, the best key to understanding his work, his joys and his torments.

A magnificent man, measuring almost 2 meters, with the fine and muscular silhouette of a dancer, with innate elegance where the simplicity of the means is essential, as in painting. A painter, finally, in all things. In his way of looking at a painting, The Battle of San Romanoby Paolo Uccello, for hours at the Louvre. In his way of sketching from life in a few black lines the ancient remains of Sicily which will then become vibrant paintings with the hindsight of the workshop.

Read alsoMasterful and unique, a painting by Nicolas de Staël sold by Christie’s in Paris

Nicolas de Staël is waiting for you, dressed all in black, arms crossed…

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