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de Staël, Nicolas [Russian, 1914-1955] 

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de Staël, Nicolas [Russian, 1914-1955]


[ 20th Century Artists ]
portrait

Nicolas de Staël was a Russian/French painter known for his highly abstract landscape painting created using thick layers of paint. A dedicated artist who lived for painting, de Staël achieved both wealth and fame in his life time.

Nicolas de Staël's work shows the influence of Paul Cezanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso (especially Picasso in his Blue and Rose periods), Georges Braque, and Fernand Leger, as well as of the Dutch masters Rembrandt, and Vermeer.

His own highly distinctive and abstract style is similar to the near-contemporary American Abstract Expressionist movement but developed independently.

Nicolas de Staël was born on Jan. 5, 1914, in St. Petersburg, the son of a wealthy baron. Nicolas's mother encouraged him to draw and paint at a very early age. In 1919 the Russian Revolution forced the family into exile in Poland. Within 2 years his parents were dead, and Nicolas was sent to Brussels to study humanities. In 1932 he entered the Royal Academy of Art there.

In the 1930s, he traveled throughout Europe, including Spain, Italy, Morocco, and Algeria eventually settling in Paris in 1938.

In 1941, he moved to Nice where he met Jean Arp, Sonia Delaunay and Robert Delaunay, and these artists would inspire his first abstract paintings

During the late 1940's and 50's de Staël had considerable commercial successes both in Europe and the USA. At the same time he was suffering from exhaustion, insomnia and depression and on March 16, 1955, he committed suicide in Antibes.

[*] RS Archive pages at Powell's Books

  de Staël, Nicolas [Russian, 1914-1955]

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