Max Jacob

1876 1944
(France) 1876 /   (France) 1944

The parents of Max Jacob are at the same time tailors and antique dealers. Max Jacob studied at the College La Tour-d’Auvergne, in Quimper. Reformed military service, he goes to Paris in 1897 and achieves his first oil-base paints. At the same time, Max Jacob interested in writing, writes the artistic columns for the Moniteur des Arts and the Gazette des Beaux-Arts under the pseudonym of Léon David.

In 1901, he meets the young Picasso and settles with him boulevard Voltaire. Max Jacob is at the same time a poet, a novelist, a dramatic author, an art critic and a painter. He does some oils paintings but mainly paints in gouache the sights from Brittany, and scenes from circus. He does a bit of everything (solicitor'clerck, tutor, storekeeper at the Paris-France store) before publishing his first book Histoire du Roi Kaboul 1er et son marmiton Gauwain at the Picard and Kahn's editor. He regularly sees the painters and poets of the Bateau-Lavoir, settles n°7 rue Ravignan, then at the Bateau-Lavoir in 1912. He makes friend with Van Dongen, Francis Carco, Roland Dorgeles. During the summer 1913, Max Jacob is in Céret.

In 1914, he converts to Christianity and is baptized on February 18, 1915 at the chapel Notre-Dame-de-Sion in Paris and asks Picasso to be his godfather. Since 1916, he attends Montparnasse and publishes several works among which Le Cornet à dés, Phanérogame, the Allies sont en Arménie.

In 1919, Max Jacob is knocked down by a car. Two years later, he leaves Paris to retire in the monastery of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire. Between 1924 and 1926, he accomplishes several voyages in Italy and Spain then joined Paris in 1928. The following year, he is again knocked down and definitively goes back to Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire in 1937.

In 1942, the yellow star is put on the family store in Quimper. The following year, his brother is deported to Auschwitz. On February 24, 1944, Max Jacob is arrested. Police officers take him to the prison of Orleans, then to the camp of Drancy.

Following a pneumonia, Max Jacob dies on March 4, 1944. His remains were transferred to the cemetery of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire.
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