Eugène Zak

1884 1926
(Pologne) 1884 /   (France) 1926

Eugène Zak’s father was originally from Poland and died in 1892. His mother then settled in Warsaw with her only child who was eight years old. The latter studied in the Polish capital and, encouraged by his mother, started to paint. At the age of sixteen, he decided to come to Paris and enrolled in the Ecole de Beaux-Arts (school of fine arts) where he took J. L. Gérôme’s classes. He then studied under Albert Besnard at the Colarossi Academy.

In 1903, he travelled to Italy and worked in Rome and in Florence. He later enrolled in the Royal School of Fine Arts in Munich. He did not stay long in Germany and returned to Paris in 1904. There, he participated in the creation of the group Rythme, formed by artists of the Polish avant-garde. He exhibited his work for the first time at the Salon d’Automne and was very successful. In 1913, he married Yadwiga Kohn with whom he later had his son Yannek.

In 1914, Eugène Zak travelled to the south of France, to Vence and Nice. In 1916, he left for Poland and stayed in Warsaw. In 1921, he travelled to Germany and received an order to decorate the hotel of the Dutch architect Frans Arnold Breuhaus. In 1922, he returned to Paris.

On 15 January 1926, he suddenly died of a heart attack.

A retrospective of his work took place at the Salon des Indépendants in 1926. Following Eugène Zak’s death, his wife ran the Zak gallery in Rue de l’Abbaye in Paris until the war.