Jacob Markiel

1911 2008
(Pologne) 1911 /   (France) 2008

Markiel came from a humble background and started working at a young age. Despite his father’s disapproval, his mother enrolled him in drawing classes with Isaac Brauner. He later graduated from the Fine Art Academy in Cracow, received a scholarship and moved to the Belleville district of Paris in 1933. The sculptor Naoum Aronson offered him lodging and introduced him to the Baron De Rothschild.

A few years later, Markiel obtained third prize in the Ecole des Beaux Arts competition. Markiel drew in a traditional manne and studied in the atelier of the painter Jean Souverbie.

In 1939 Markiel enrolled in the French army, but was arrested the following year and spent three years moving between Montluc prison and Compiegne.

In 1943, poor health secured his release and he decided to leave for Africa. Stopped by the Nazis the day before of his departure, he was interned in Drancy and on 23 June 1943 he was deported on convoy n°55 to Auschwitz. He was a participant in the death march to Gross Rosen.

After the liberation he returned to France and was lodged by Isaac Dobrinsky. He discovered that his family had been exterminated.

Supported by his wife, Esther, he devoted the rest of his life to painting.