January 4, 2019
January 4, 2019



David Seifert studied at an art school in Lwow. In 1912, he enrolled in the School of Fine Arts in Weimar with Joachim Weingart. The industrialist and patron Carol Katz discovered his painting and decided to support him while he was learning. He arrived in Paris in 1924 and settled in Montparnasse. In 1927, on the occasion of the opening of the café La Coupole, he painted the place’s pillars together with other artists, such as Georges Kars, Marie Vassilieff, and Nathan Grunsweigh. In the 1930s, he met Léon Weissberg. From 1936, David Seifert lived with his wife and son at 73 rue Notre- Dame-des-Champs, in a studio next to Émile Othon Friesz. At night, he spent time with his friends at Le Dôme café.

On July 15, 1942, the day before the Vel d’Hiv roundup, his friend and neighbor painter Othon Friesz warned him of the danger and advised him to flee. Seifert placed his son in the Stanislas secondary school, a Catholic institute where he stayed until the Liberation, while he and his wife took refuge in Sanary-sur-Mer. His wife worked on promoting her husband’s work. The dealer Vladimir Raykis, from the Zak gallery, regularly bought his works. His collectors lived in England and South Africa. In 1960, Seifert settled in a house near Meudon where he worked until he died.

Stories of Jewish Artists of the School of Paris 1905-1939


Capitale des arts, le Paris des années 1905-1939 attire les artistes du monde entier. De cette période de foisonnement, un terme est resté, celui d'Ecole de Paris, qui recouvre une grande diversité d'expression artistique. Dans ce brassage dont Montparnasse est le creuset, un groupe se distingue : celui des artistes juifs venus de Russie, de Pologne et d'Europe centrale. Si leurs styles sont variés, un destin commun les rassemble : ils fuient l'antisémitisme de leur pays d'origine. Certains ont connu la célébrité dès les années 1920, tels Soutine, Lipchitz ou Chagall. D'autres n'ont pas eu le temps ou la chance d'y accéder. Près de la moitié a péri dans les camps de concentration nazis.

From 1905 to 1939, Paris attracted artists from all over the globe as the capital of the art world. This period of artistic proliferation became known as the School of Paris, and includes a great diversity of artistic expression. Within the teeming art world centred on Montparnasse, one group set itself apart: Jewish artists from Russia, Poland, and Central Europe. Although their styles were diverse, they shared the common fate of fleeing anti-Semitic persecutions in their home countries. Some became famous in the 1920s, such as Soutine, Lipchitz, and Chagall, while others did not have the time or the luck to gain renown. Nearly half of these artists died in Nazi concentration camps.