Samuel Granowsky

1889 1942
(Ukraine) 1889 /   (Pologne) 1942

Samuel Granowsky left his family to study painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Odessa. He continued his trainings in Munich and in Paris, where he settled in 1909. He was a tall and handsome man, and worked as a “model” at the Grande Chaumière. He also earned his living by working as a cleaner at the café La Rotonde. In Montparnasse, he drew attention to himself because of his eccentric behavior: he strode along the streets wearing a bright-colored shirt and a Texan hat, which he wore when he was an extra in the shooting of a movie. Together with his female companion Aïcha, the famous mixed-race model of Montparnasse, he was an emblematic figure of that time. He was nicknamed “the cowboy of Montparnasse”.

He depicted scenes of Parisian life as well as traditional Russian figures, fairs and musicians. He also painted portraits, nudes and wildlife paintings. He was renowned for the eclectic character of his art: mural fresco for private individuals, paintings on furniture, screens and sculptures. He mainly worked with pastels and painted with a knife.

During the war, Sam Granowsky stayed in Paris. On 17 July 1942, he was arrested by the French police during the Vel d’Hiv roundup. He was interned in Drancy and was deported on convoy number 9 on 22 July 1942. He was murdered in Auschwitz.