Gabriel Spat was a French post impressionist painter and draughtsman. Born Gabriel Shalom Patlagean (Patlajan) in 1890 in Kishinev, territory then belonging to the Russian Empire, present-day Chisinau, capital of Moldavia. He came from a family of artists (his brother Alexander Patlagean was a caricaturist painter, and his sister Numa Patlagean was sculptor). He was a student of the Academy of Fine Arts in Geneva (Switzerland), then studied in Paris, at the Colarossi Academy and the Grande Chaumière. After the First World War, he lived in Paris where he continued to study sculpture and painting, frequenting the studio of La Ruche, Soutine and Modigliani. His works have been exhibited in numerous galleries and exhibitions. Parisian newspapers in 1943-1944 published a series of his works and the New York Times also published his series called "The Germans in Paris", where he presented the attitude of the French towards Hitler's soldiers in Paris. His anti-German satirical cartoons depicting Nazi society led to the destruction of his studio. He managed to flee to unoccupied France in 1944 and moved to the United States in 1945.
Spat is best known for his impressionistic depictions of towns, horse races, dancers, portraits and still lifes in a miniaturist style. He probably shifted to miniaturist painting out of necessity due to poverty; he was forced to paint on scraps of canvas given to him by other artists. But the images that were developed on such a small surface became immensely adored by critics and collectors.
Gabriel Spat died in 1967 in New York.
Sources: Benezit, Dictionary of Artists; Autour de l'art juif: encyclopédie des peintres, photographes et sculpteurs, Adrian N. Darmon, 2003; JewishGen; Archives de France.
Artist: Gabriel Spat (1890-1967)
Signed on bottom left.
Medium: Oil on canvas. Relined with a workshop stamp on the back.
Condition: Very good condition, light crackling.
Dimensions: 16 x 24 cm. / 6 ¼ x 9 ½ in.
Frame: 31 x 39 cm. / 12 ¼ x 15 ½ in. Gilt wood, very good condition.