Molli Chwat came from a banking family and was raised by his grandfather. He studied in his hometown and later enrolled in the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts of Saint Petersburg. He followed Ilya Repin’s advice and briefly visited Paris in 1906 where he attended a free academy. In 1909, he was in Geneva and married young medical student Gattin. Chwat returned to Saint Petersburg in 1910 where he stayed until 1918. He fled the Russian Revolution and went to Paris that same year. He enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and then studied at free academies. He defended French painting with passion and described himself as “an Expressionist painter of the School of Paris.”
During World War II, he took refuge in Casablanca. Following the Liberation, he went back to Paris and dedicated his time to painting. He received the Othon Friesz prize in 1952. In 1957, he visited Israel. Although Molli Chwat depicted portraits and landscapes in his early work, from 1945 onward he painted Biblical themes. His works can be found in museums in France and Israel.
Nieszawer & Princ
"Artistes juifs de l’Ecole de Paris 1905-1939"
Editons Somogy 2015