Ossip Zadkine (1888-1967)

The Russian sculptor Ossip Zadkine was born in 1888 in Vitebsk, Belarus, also known as the birthplace of another famous artist Marc Chagall. Throughout his life Zadkine has always claimed that his date of birth was 1890 but in recent research the Zadkine Research Center has found evidence that his date of birth is 1888.

Available Ossip Zadkine works:

Ossip Zadkine - Deux personages et un âne au village - 1923 - Gouache

Deux personnages - 1923


Le Messager - 1937

Ossip Zadkine - La Mariée - Circa 1932 - Terra cotta sculpture

La mariée - Circa 1932


Ossip Zadkine - Orphée marchant - 1930 - sculpture

Orphée marchant - 1930


Leda et le cygne - 1943


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Early years in Paris

In 1903 Zadkine was sent to London by his father and in 1910 he settled in Paris. During the First World War, in 1916, Zadkine enlisted voluntarily in the Russian ambulance corps. In Paris between 1914 and 1925, Zadkine first developed a Cubist style and later developed his own visual language, mainly inspired by Greek mythology with themes such as Leda and the swan and the twin half-brothers Castor and Pollux.


Flight to America

At the beginning of the Second World War, Zadkine fled to the USA where he stayed in New York City. In the USA Zadkine had a relationship with American artist Carol Janeway and he created several portraits of her. During his stay in the United States, his work became gloomy and depressed, he missed his homeland France. Zadkine has traveled extensively throughout his life and exhibited his work in many countries including the Netherlands, Belgium, Japan, Germany, Italy and Greece.


Monumental sculpture

Zadkine's most famous work is probably the war memorial in Rotterdam, The Netherlands 'La ville detruite' or ‘The destroyed city’. This monumental bronze statue is a Dutch national monument and is 650 cm high and was unveiled in 1953. Zadkine was fascinated by the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. In the 1950s and 1960s he made various sculptures and works on paper with the subject of Van Gogh and created large monuments in Zundert, the Netherlands and Auvers sur Oise in southern France.


Ossip Zadkine Research

Ossip Zadkine's predilection for the Netherlands was mainly due to his good friend the doctor and artist Hendrik Wiegersma from Deurne. Wiegersma's grandson, Tjerk Wiegersma, founded the Zadkine Research Center together with Richard Oudenhuysen in the 1990s with the aim of preserving and protecting Zadkine's work.


Ossip Zadkine’s only acknowledged child Nicolas Hasle (1960), was the result of his affair with a Danish woman, Annelise Hasle. Nicolas Hasle is a trustee of the Zadkine Research Center and has been party to an ongoing lawsuit with the City of Paris to establish his claim to his father's estate.


Read more about the artist on the Zadkine Research Center website