Max Jacob

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Max Jacob
Jacob, Max (1876-1944) - 1934 - Foto Carl van Vechten, Library of Congress.jpg
Max Jacob, photographed by Carl van Vechten
Born(1876-07-12)12 July 1876
Quimper, Finistère, Brittany
Died5 March 1944(1944-03-05) (aged 67)
Drancy Deportation Camp
Pen nameLéon David
Morven le Gaëlique
NationalityFrench

Signature Max Jacob signature.svg

Max Jacob (French:  [maks ʒakɔb] ; 12 July 1876 – 5 March 1944) was a French poet, painter, writer, and critic.

Contents

Life and career

After spending his childhood in Quimper, Brittany, he enrolled in the Paris Colonial School, which he left in 1897 for an artistic career. He was one of the first friends Pablo Picasso made in Paris. They met in the summer of 1901, and it was Jacob who helped the young artist learn French. [1] Later, on the Boulevard Voltaire, he shared a room with Picasso, [2] who remained a lifelong friend (and was included in his artwork Three Musicians ). Jacob introduced him to Guillaume Apollinaire, who in turn introduced Picasso to Georges Braque. He would become close friends with Jean Cocteau, Jean Hugo, Christopher Wood and Amedeo Modigliani, who painted his portrait in 1916. He also befriended and encouraged the artist Romanin, otherwise known as French politician and future Resistance leader Jean Moulin. Moulin's famous nom de guerre Max is presumed to be selected in honor of Jacob.

Quimper Prefecture and commune in Brittany, France

Quimper is a commune and capital of the Finistère department of Brittany in northwestern France.

Pablo Picasso 20th-century Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer

Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright who spent most of his adult life in France. Regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore. Among his most famous works are the proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907), and Guernica (1937), a dramatic portrayal of the bombing of Guernica by the German and Italian airforces during the Spanish Civil War.

<i>Three Musicians</i> set of two similar paintings painted Pablo Picasso in 1921

Three Musicians is the title of two similar collage and oil paintings by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. They were both completed in 1921 in Fontainebleau near Paris, France, and exemplify the Synthetic Cubist style; the flat planes of color and "intricate puzzle-like composition" echoing the arrangements of cutout paper with which the style originated. These paintings each colorfully represent three musicians wearing masks in the tradition of the popular Italian theater Commedia dell'arte.

Jacob, who was Jewish, claimed to have had a vision of Christ in 1909, and converted to Catholicism. He was hopeful that this conversion would alleviate his homosexual tendencies. [3]

Max Jacob is regarded as an important link between the symbolists and the surrealists, as can be seen in his prose poems Le cornet à dés (The Dice Box, 1917 – the 1948 Gallimard edition was illustrated by Jean Hugo) and in his paintings, exhibitions of which were held in New York City in 1930 and 1938.

Jean Hugo French painter

Jean Hugo was a painter, illustrator, theatre designer and author. He was born in Paris and died in his home at the Mas de Fourques, near Lunel, France. Brought up in a lively artistic environment, he began teaching himself drawing and painting and wrote essays and poetry from a very early age. His artistic career spans the 20th century, from his early sketches of the First World War, through the creative ferment of the Parisian interwar years, and up to his death in 1984. He was part of a number of artistic circles that included Jean Cocteau, Raymond Radiguet, Pablo Picasso, Georges Auric, Erik Satie, Blaise Cendrars, Marie-Laure de Noailles, Paul Eluard, Francis Poulenc, Charles Dullin, Louis Jouvet, Colette, Marcel Proust, Jacques Maritain, Max Jacob, Carl Theodor Dreyer, Marie Bell, Louise de Vilmorin, Cecil Beaton and many others.

His writings include the novel Saint Matorel (1911), the free verses Le laboratoire central (1921), and La défense de Tartuffe (1919), which expounds his philosophical and religious attitudes.

Free verse is an open form of poetry which in its modern form arose through the French vers libre form. It does not use consistent meter patterns, rhyme, or any musical pattern. It thus tends to follow the rhythm of natural speech.

The famous psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan attributed the quote "The truth is always new" to Jacob. [4]

Jacques Lacan French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist

Jacques Marie Émile Lacan was a French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist who has been called "the most controversial psycho-analyst since Freud". Giving yearly seminars in Paris from 1953 to 1981, Lacan influenced many leading French intellectuals in the 1960s and the 1970s, especially those associated with post-structuralism. His ideas had a significant impact on post-structuralism, critical theory, linguistics, 20th-century French philosophy, film theory, and clinical psychoanalysis.

Death

Having moved outside of Paris in May 1936, to settle in Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire, Loiret, Max Jacob was arrested on 24 February 1944 by the Gestapo, and interned at Orléans prison (prisoner #15872). [5] Jewish by birth, Jacob's brother Gaston had been previously arrested in January 1944, and deported to the concentration camp Auschwitz along with his sister Myrthe-Lea; her husband was also deported by the Nazis at this time. Following his incarceration at Orléans, Max was then transferred to Drancy internment camp from where he was to be transported in the next convoy to Auschwitz. However, said to be suffering from bronchial pneumonia, Max Jacob died in the infirmary of Le Cité de la Muette, a former housing block which served as the internment camp known as Drancy [6] on 5 March. [7]

First interred in Ivry, after the war ended his remains were transferred in 1949 by his artist friends Jean Cassou and René Iché (who sculpted the tomb of the poet) to the cemetery at Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire in the Loiret département.

Pseudonyms

As well as his nom d'état civil, or regular name, Jacob worked under at least two pseudonyms, Léon David and Morven le Gaëlique.

T. R. Knight portrays Jacob in the 2018 season of the television series Genius , which focuses on the life and career of Pablo Picasso.

See also

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References

  1. McNeese, Tim (2006). Pablo Picasso. p. 33. ISBN   1438106874.
  2. Jacob, Max (1991). Green, Maria (ed.). Hesitant fire: selected prose of Max Jacob. p. xvi. ISBN   0803225741.
  3. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/max-jacob
  4. Lacan, Jacques (2008) My Teaching, Verso Press.
  5. http://www.max-jacob.com/collections.html
  6. The French poet Nicolas Grenier has written a tribute poem to a Max Jacob.
  7. Caws, Mary Ann (2004). Yale Anthology of 20th-century French Poetry. Yale University Press. p. 47. ISBN   978-0-300-10010-5.