Michel Kikoine, born May 31, and who die on November 4 1892, 1892, was a Russian, Belarusian painter born in Rechytsa, Belarus, the son of a Jewish banker. Kikoine started his art career as a teenager studying at “Kruger’s School of Drawing” in Minsk. It was there where he met Chaim Soutine, with whom he formed a lifelong friendship. He and Soutine began studying at the Fine Arts School in Vilnia and by 1911 they were in Paris, living in the Montparnasse Quarter. In this artistic community Michel found himself also in company with Pinchus Kremegne, a fellow Belarus painter who had studied at the Fine Arts School in Vilnia. Michel studied for a time at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts at La Ruche. In 1914 he met and married a woman from Vilnia with whom he would have a daughter and a son, Jankel Jacques, who also became a painter. During WW I Michel volunteered and fought in the French army until the end of the War. With the outbreak of WWII, facing deportation to Nazi death camps, the Kikoine family stayed near Toulouse. With the Allied liberation of France they moved back to Paris where Michel painted mostly nudes, self-portraits and portraits. In 1958, he moved to Cannes where he made landscape paintings and where he died on November 4, 1968. His first exhibition took place in Paris in 1919. Thereafter he regularly exhibited in the Salon d’Automne. He much admired the art of Paul Cézanne. Michel celebrated him with one of his most notable works: Paysage Cezannien. In 2004 at the university in Tel Aviv, Israel, a new wing was dedicated to honor the memory of Michel Kikoine in the University Art Gallery.
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