Mintchine, Abraham

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MINTCHINE, ABRAHAM (1908–1931), painter. Mintchine was born in Kiev, Russia, where he became apprenticed to a goldsmith. He went to Berlin in 1923 but in the following year went to France and began to exhibit in the Salon des Indépendents. By the time of his premature death, Mintchine had established himself as one of the most gifted of the East European artists who settled in Paris and who constituted the Paris School of Art. He painted still-life, compositions, and landscapes, but the most striking part of his output was a series of superb self-portraits. Early influences of Cubism were soon abandoned for a broader style, closer to German Expressionism, but devoid of angst or nervous anxiety. René Gimpel, the distinguished French art dealer, was one of Mintchine's main patrons. He is represented in leading public museums throughout the world, including his native Kiev; his masterpiece, a self-portrait as a harlequin, is in the Tate Gallery, London.

[Charles Samuel Spencer]