Full expertise provided by Rea MichalovÃ¡, Ph. D., Art Historian and Curator available upon request.
Otakar Kubin, known in France as Othon Coubine, was born in Boskovice in 1883. After studying at Academy of Fine Arts, Prague (1900-1904). Coubine travelled to Holland and Belgium before settling in in Provence, France, where he would spend forty years of life. France became his second home and the landscape his lifelong inspirational source.
Considered a member of artistic movement known as The Paris School (L’École de Paris) Coubine is one of the few Czech artists who have earned their recognition abroad. His artistic style evolved from neo-impressionism through expressionism and cubo-expressionism, which helped him develop his particular style based on the influences of the new classicism. Coubine’s embrace of neoclassicism launched him into the French post-war movement called “Return to Order” (Retour à l’ordre), which was in direct competition with the aesthetics of his contemporary and friend, Pablo Picasso. Coubine’s landscapes are also recognized for use of light, understood as a unifying element.
In 1925 Coubine settled in Aix-En-Provence, approximately 50 km north of Provence, where Cézanne also lived and painted. Here he discovered the landscape of the hills and valleys, fields of lavender, olive trees and almond trees, not only for himself, but even for the French, who rewarded this by adding him to their foremost painters. Coubine returned to Czechoslovakia in 1952 but after 12 years, he decided to return to France, where he died in 1969.