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© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2020. Photo credit: National Galleries of Scotland

Untitled 1954

Jean-Michel Atlan (1913–1960)

National Galleries of Scotland

French painter, lithographer, and poet, born in Algeria of Jewish-Berber ancestry and active mainly in Paris, where he settled in 1930. Atlan took a degree in philosophy at the Sorbonne and was self-taught as an artist. He began painting in 1941 but was arrested by the German occupying forces in 1942 because of his activities in the Resistance; he saved his life by feigning madness and was confined to an asylum (where he was allowed to paint) until the Liberation of Paris in 1944.

Text source: A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art (Oxford University Press)

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