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Russian-born painter and printmaker who became a French citizen in 1948. He was born in St Petersburg, son of Baron Vladimir Ivanovich de Staël-Holstein. In 1919 his family was forced to leave Russia because of the Revolution (he would later become incensed if anyone suggested they had ‘fled’) and moved to Poland. Both parents had died by 1922 and Nicolas and his two sisters were adopted by a family of Russian expatriates in Brussels, where he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts, 1932–6.

Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)