JACQUES VILLON (French / 1875-1963)

Jacques Villon was born in Damville (Eure). His true name was Gaston Duchamp, but he adopted the name Jack, then Jacques, Villon when he entered the atelier Cormon in 1895, identifying himself with the medieval poet François Villon, and avoiding comparisons between himself and his brother, Marcel Duchamp. Of six brothers and sisters, no fewer than four became artists, inspired by their grandfather, the painter and engraver Émile Nicolle. The four were Jacques Villon, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Marcel Duchamp, and their sister Suzanne, the wife of Jean Crotti. Raymond, a promising sculptor, was killed in WWI; Jacques fought at the Somme, and was only demobilised in 1919, with the Croix de Guerre and the Légion d'honneur. After the war Villon endured a period of financial hardship, unlike the carefree days of his early career, when his studio was filled with likeminded pioneers of early Cubism such as Kupka (who had the studio next to Villon), Gleizes, Metzinger, Picabia, Léger, and La Fresnaye. At this period Jacques Villon was also closely associated with Robert Delaunay, Juan Gris, Georges Braque, André Lhote, and Louis Marcoussis. In the 1920s, Villon, already a master printmaker, supported himself by making interpretative etchings of the paintings of others. In the 1930s, Villon was able once more to concentrate on his own painting and printmaking, and was a member of the influential group Abstraction-Création. After WWII, Jacques Villon became recognised as one of the foremost French printmakers of the twentieth century. See: Auberty & Pérussaux, J. Villon, catalogue de son oeuvre gravé, 1950; Ginestet & Pouillon, J. Villon, Les estampes et les illustrations, catalogue raisonné, 1979.

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Selected prints by JACQUES VILLON

Untitled composition, 1954
Intimité, 1964
Cellist, 1965

View all available prints by JACQUES VILLON