École de Paris

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A term that was originally applied to a number of artists of non-French origin, predominantly of Jewish background, who in the years immediately after the First World War lived in Paris and painted in figurative styles that might loosely be called poetic Expressionism, forming the most distinctive strand in French painting between Cubism and Surrealism. Chagall (Russian), Foujita (Japanese), Modigliani (Italian), Pascin (Bulgarian), and Soutine (Lithuanian) are among the most famous artists embraced by the term. However, especially outside France, the meaning of the term was soon broadened to include all foreign artists who had settled in Paris since the beginning of the century (van Dongen, Gris, Picasso, for example), and then it expanded still further to cover virtually all progressive art in the 20th century that had its focus in Paris. In this broadest sense, the term reflects the intense concentration of artistic activity, supported by critics, dealers, and connoisseurs, that made Paris the world centre of advanced art during the first 40 years of the 20th century. After the Second World War, however, New York replaced Paris as the world capital of avant-garde art.

Subjects: Art.

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