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Adolphe Feder

 (1886 - 1943)
Adolphe Feder was active/lived in France, Russian Federation, Ukraine.  Adolphe Feder is known for German internment camp portraits, still life and landscape painting, illustration.

Adolphe Feder

Biography from the Archives of askART

Biography photo for Adolphe Feder
Adolphe Féder (also Aizik Féder; 16 July 1886 – 13 December 1943) was a Jewish-Ukrainian painter and illustrator. He moved to France in 1908, where he remained until his deportation and subsequent murder at the hands of the Vichy regime. Féder is best-known today for the artwork he produced of those interned with him in the Drancy internment camp.

Born to Jewish-Ukrainian merchant parents, in 1905 Féder found himself involved in the revolutionary Bund Labor Movement. His involvement in the organization would force him to flee to Berlin at the age of 19.

Following his time in Berlin, Féder moved to Geneva before moving to Paris in 1908 to study at the Académie Julian. At the Académie he studied painting and worked closely with the French Impressionist, Henri Matisse in his workshop.

In 1926, Féder made a trip to Palestine. On his trip he encountered many Judaic elements, which he painted. The trip's impact on him yielded many of his most notable paintings such as Juif à barbe tenant un plateau"("Bearded Jew holding a tray"). When Féder returned to Paris, he brought many of these paintings back with him, which garnered him recognition in the Parisian artistic community.

Before Féder was sent to Auschwitz he painted prisoners and guards in the Drancy internment camp.

When Nazi troops marched across France in 1942, Féder, aged 52, tried to get in contact with the French Resistance but was caught by the Pétain militia. He and his wife were arrested on 10 June 1942 and imprisoned in Cherche-Midi prison; he was transferred to the Drancy internment camp in September 1942.

In Drancy, Féder continued to paint, creating portraits of those around him such as the other prisoners and guards. His paintings stopped with his deportation to the Auschwitz concentration camp on 13 December 1943 where he was murdered. Féder's wife, Sima Féder, donated Féder's works from inside Drancy to the Ghetto Fighters' House upon her death in 1951.

Féder's success came in 1912 when his landscape works were displayed at the Salon d'Automne. He continued to paint following this including a series of 45 illustrations created for a book of poetry by French poet Arthur Rimbaud. The book received a limited run of 350 copies in 1924, but was commended for its watercolor illustrations.

When Féder's work appeared in the Fearon Galleries in 1923, his work received great praise. An art critic, writing on Féder's work, said "Adolphe Féder struck me as the most original in his finely austere 'Joueur de Biniou' and more mirthful still life." A monograph on Féder was written in 1929 by Gustave Kahn.

Submitted by Jacob Frank

"Adolphe Feder," Wikipedia, Mar. 2018

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About  Adolphe Feder

Born:  1886 - Odessa, Russian Empire
Died:   1943 - Auschwitz, Nazi Germany
Known for:  German internment camp portraits, still life and landscape painting, illustration