Jules Pascin (1885-1930), the “Prince of Montparnasse,” was the son of a Sephardic father and a Serbian-Italian mother. He arrived in Paris in 1905. In 1914, he relocated to the United States, became a citizen, and stayed for 6 years. Returning to Paris in 1920, he remained a central figure among the artists in Montparnasse, where he was renowned for wit, wine and making merry until he slit his wrists and hanged himself in his studio.
According to Raphael Soyer, it was Pascin “who created a cult among the younger artists for painting the female figure nude and semi-clothed.” His models were often the prostitutes he so enjoyed.
Hemingway’s “With Pascine at the Dome,” the 11th chapter of A MOVEABLE FEAST is a description of encountering the artist at Le Dôme Café. It is essential reading for anyone interested an an exquisite image of the Montparnasse of that time.
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