Pro Patria

Simon Mondzain (Szamaj Mondszajn, known as ; Chelm, Poland, 1887 or 1888 – Paris, 1979)

Paris, 1920

Pastel on canvas, 112.5 x 88.5 cm

Gift of Marie-José Mondzain

Simon Mondzain (Szamaj Mondszajn, known as ; Chelm, Poland, 1887 or 1888 – Paris, 1979), Pro Patria, Paris, 1920

Simon Mondzain (Szamaj Mondszajn, known as ; Chelm, Poland, 1887 or 1888 – Paris, 1979), Pro Patria, Paris, 1920

This striking image, painted shortly after the 1914-1918 war, shows a naked Marianne laying flowers on the open coffin of a soldier wearing the uniform of the French Foreign Legion. On his collar there is the number of the battalion the artist joined in 1914. Simon Mondzain had been living in Paris since 1912 and like many Jewish artists of the School of Paris, remained attached to figurative subjects and especially the human figure, whose integrity he sought to preserve while stylising and dramatizing it. Pro Patria can be regarded as an expression of the bereavement, impossible because hidden and even forbidden, that struck the families of war victims and also those who survived, who were expected to regard it as a victory and a heroic and patriotic sacrifice..

On the same topics

Alice Halicka (Cracovie, 1894 – Paris, 1975), Cubist Still Life, France, 1915, gouache on paper, 32.5 x 25.5 cm

On loan from the Fondation Pro mahJ, gift of David and Sura Smolas
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Jules Pascin (Vidin, 1885 – Paris, 1930), American Girls, United States, 1916

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Jules Pascin (Vidin, 1885 – Paris, 1930)

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Chana Orloff (Tsaré-Constantinovska, 1888 – Tel-Aviv, 1968), The Kiss or The Family , Paris, 1916, gift of the Justman-Tamir family
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Chana Orloff (Tsaré-Constantinovska, 1888 – Tel-Aviv, 1968)

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