Hermine David, French (1886 - 1970)

Hermine David

Hermine Lionette Cartan David (19 April 1886 in Paris – 1 December 1970 in Bry-sur-Marne) was a French painter and the wife of Jules Pascin, also a painter.

Hermine David was born in Paris in 1886. She was born out of wedlock; her mother insisted that her biological father was a Habsburg archduke.

She became one of the Ecole de Paris artists, a group of mostly non-French artists, émigrés particularly from eastern Europe who were working in Paris before World War I. Jules Pascin was another member of that artistic group, whom she met in 1907. By that time, she was already well-established as a successful young painter, miniaturist and printmaker.

David and Pascin soon became lovers and lived together in a series of studios in the bohemian communities of Montmartre and Montparnasse. She followed Pascin to the United States in 1915, where they were married on September 25, 1918. They stayed a total of five years, past the end of World War I. David exhibited in New York City during her residence there.

In 1920, after they returned to France, she exhibited in London and in several solo shows at prominent Paris galleries.

David was widely appreciated by both critics and collectors. While her finest work dates to the 1920s and '30s, including the book illustrations for which she developed a passion in the '20s, she was active into the 1960s. She won a watercolor prize at the Biennale de Deauville in 1965.

She outlived her husband by forty years after he committed suicide in 1930. She died in 1970 at Bry-sur-Marne.

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