François Szulman (French, b. 1931) lived with his mother in the working class arrondisement of Belleville in Paris. He was the only son of working parents who had immigrated from Poland. His father was a knitting worker, and then a garment worker. After Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, France declared war on Germany. Szulman’s father volunteered for the French army and was captured and made a prisoner of war. Germany invaded France in May 1940, and in June, France capitulated. Paris became the seat of the German military occupation government. Anti-Jewish measures were introduced, including the confiscation of businesses and mass arrests and deportations. By 1942, the Germans sought to remove all Jews from Paris. Francois, age 11, and his mother were arrested in July that year during the Vel d'Hiv roundups, but released because his father, a French soldier, was a prisoner of war. They went into hiding, but his mother died in December 1943 because she could not get medical care. She had become ill, but, being Jewish, could not be admitted to a hospital. Paris was liberated by US troops in August, 1944. Francois was able to return to school, and develop his gift for drawing. In 1946, Szulman was accepted at the Paris College of Applied Arts. He later had to abandon his studies and go to work in a knitting factory. He became a garment cutter, but continued painting at night. In 1950, he married and had two children. He had his first exhibition in 1967 at Gallery Regis Langlois. It was a success and eventually Szulman was able to devote himself exclusively to painting.
Szulman's work has been sold in galleries in Europe, but few auction records can be found here. This is not unusual, since the war prevented him from being exhibited until 1967. I find his work evocative. It reminds me in a way of Alfred Daniels, a British artist who was a contemporary. I believe the times that they went through seemed to affect their style; sometimes bringing in an almost geometric approach at times. I believe his work is well worth collecting.
The title of this painting is quite confusing to me. "Cambe" is a small city in Brazil. I have no research indicating that he spent time in Brazil. For this reason I am slightly suspicious that the name may be mistaken.
Country of Origin: France.
Artist: François Szulman (French, b. 1931)
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Size: 25 1/2 by 19 3/4 inches (64.8 by 50.2 cm); Framed under glass size 31 3/4 by 25 1/2 inches.
Signed lower right: François Szulman.
Signed and titled on the reverse: "Cambe" / François Szulman
Condition: Unlined canvas. There appears to be no major visible condition issues to note.
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