Last weekend I discovered a tiny museum tucked away in a hidden courtyard behind the Luxembourg gardens. Former home and studios of Ossip Zadkine and his wife the painter Valentine Prax, set a lovely garden in the heart of the 6th arrondissement, this beautiful museum houses a wonderful collection of his sculptures. A Russian born sculptor and friend of Modigilani, Blaise Cendrars, Henry Miller and Max Jacob, Zadkine is considered one of the masters of cubism, and lived in this house for forty years from 1928. Valentine Prax bequeathed her legacy in order that it could be transformed into a museum. Here you can see his sculptures in bronze, limestone, granite, plaster and different kinds of wood, sometimes lacquered or overlaid with gold leaf. My favourite is Head of a Woman (main picture above) which used to be part of the designer Eileen Gray’s collection in her apartment in Paris.
The museum is very small and feels very intimate. Entry is free, and you don’t need long to visit it, although it really is worth spending some time there and enjoying the beauty of the artworks and the tranquility of their wonderful setting. I look forward to coming back in the summer and enjoying the peace and beauty of the gardens as well as the lovely museum. It’s the type of place I’d love to pop into whenever I’m nearby, just to spend a few moments imagining what it would be like to live and produce these beautiful works in such a wonderful place.
- Musée Zadkine, 100 bis, rue d’Assis, 75006 Paris. métro: Vavin or Notre Dame des Champs
Free entry. Open 10:00 – 18:00 daily except Mondays and public holidays