Zadkine, Ossip

BORN 14 Jul 1890, Vitebsk - DIED 25 Nov 1967, Paris
BIRTH NAME Tsadkin, Yossel Aronovich
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Cimetière du Montparnasse, 3 Boulevard Edgar Quinet (division 08)

Ossip Zakine was born in Vitebsk, Belarus. His father was Jewish and his mother descended from Scots that emigrated to the Russian Empire during the time of Peter the Great. He attended Art School in Sunderland before he was taught at the Regent Street Polytechnicum, London.

In 1909 he moved to Paris, where he joined the Cubists before he developed his own style. Until 1914 he called himself Joe Zadkine.

During the First World War he was as a stretcher-bearer in 1916-1917. When he came back he felt ruined by the war. In 1920 he married his neighbour Valentine Prax (1897-1981). In 1922 the Museum of Grenoble bought his wooden statue "Le Fauve". He made several trips to Italy and exhibited in Japan.

In 1928 he and Valentine moved to a white house behind the rue d’Assas that became the Musée Zadkine after Valentine's death.

During the 1930s he exhibited in many cities and in 1937 he visited the USA. From 1941 to 1945 he lived in the USA and he both exhibited and worked as a teacher.

After his return to France he had much more exhibitions. Until 1958 he was a teacher at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris. His best known work is "The Destroyed City" (1953) in the center of Rotterdam.


The grave of Ossip Zadkine at Montparnasse Cimetière, Paris.
Picture by Androom (22 May 1999)


• Adler, Josef, Handbuch der Grabstätten, 2. Band, Die Grabstätte der Europäer, Deutsches Kunstverlag, München, 1986
Den Haag Sculptuur 98, Connaissance des Arts, Paris, 1998

Zambaco, Maria

Published: 08 Feb 2009
Last update: 25 Apr 2022