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Jules Pascin (French, 1885–1930) was a Bulgarian-born French Expressionist painter.


Jules Pascin was born in 1885 in Vidin, Bulgaria. His name was Julius Mordecai Pincas and he was the eighth of eleven children of a Spanish Sephardic Jew and his Serbian-Italian wife. He was raised in Bucharest, Romania. He was educated in Vienna before moving to Munich, Germany, where he attended art school. Beginning in 1904, his drawings were regularly published in satirical journals such as the Lustige Blätter and Simplicissimus. A year later, he moved to Paris, where he continued to produce satirical drawings, and became associated with the Modernist movement.


To avoid serving in the Bulgarian army, at the beginning of World War I, Pascin traveled to the United States, spending most of his time in the South. He changed his name to Pascin (French) but he was equally at home in any country; he became a citizen of the United States in 1920. He returned to Paris and from there began to create a series of large-scale, representational biblical and mythological paintings. He then painted the works for which he is best known, the delicately toned, thinly painted studies of women, typically prostitutes.


Jules Pascin's preoccupation was women. Everywhere he went he liked to sponge up wine, Pernod and brandy; he liked to work with thirty or forty friends carousing about him in his studio. Mostly his subjects and companions were the girls of easy, and available virtue.


Pascin was sensuously ugly with heavy features under a perennial black derby. As he began to age, his art more and more portrayed the image of an old man teased by willing sprites. Slowly his vision of women softened to match their contours.  As his nudes grew ever more evanescent in powdery pastels, they also became even more erotic.


In 1930, at the age of forty-five, Jules Pascin slashed his wrists, wrote a note to his mistress on the wall in blood, and finding death too slow in coming determinedly hanged himself from his studio door.





1885 Born on March 31st in Vidin, Bulgaria. Son of Spanish-Jewish father and Serbian-Italian mother, the 8th of 11 children.


1903 Left Vidin and began career as an illustrator in Munich, Germany


1905 Traveled to Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, and Paris. Established a permanent home in Paris


1910 Paul Cassirer, Berlin, published the “Memoirs of Schnabelewopski” by Heinrich Heine, with illustrations by Pascin


1914 Left France at the outbreak of World War I. Traveled to England briefly and emigrated to the United States. Arrived in New York City on October 8, 1914.


1915 Traveled to the southern part of the United States, visiting Louisiana, North Carolina, Texas, Florida, and traveling as far as Cuba


1920 Became a United States citizen on September 30, 1920. Returned to Paris in mid-October. Published Ein Sommer, a sketchbook containing a series of drawings and watercolors of beach scenes made at Ostend, Belgium during the summer of 1912


1924 Traveled to Algiers and Tunis


1926 Began a trip to Palestine but returned to France


1927 Second trip to the United States


1929 Entered profitable contract with prominent Parisian dealer, Bernheim Jeune


1930 Traveled to Spain and Portugal. Committed suicide.




Paintings in Museums and Public Art Galleries Worldwide


Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Art Institute of Chicago, IL

Bezalel National Museum, Jerusalem, Israel

Brooklyn Museum, NY

Cleveland Museum of Art, OH

Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, CA

Harvard University Art Museum, MA

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.

Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

Milwaukee Art Museum, WI

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Museum of Modern Art, NY

National Gallery of Armenia, Armenia

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. 

National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, Japan

Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA

San Diego Museum of Art, CA 

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

Southampton City Art Gallery, Southampton, England

Statens Museum for Kunst (National Gallery of Denmark), Copenhagen

University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City

University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Alberta, Canada

Walker Art Center, MN

Wichita Art Museum, KS