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Full text of "Otto Schneid Papers--Correspondence before 1939--Kars, Georges (Box 3, Folder 7)"

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® Le peSntre Kars vient de subir une 
grave operation. Tous nos vceux de prompt 

® On a decouvert en Crimee, pres de 
Bachtchi-Sara'i les restes d'un temple du 
V* siecle et un Systeme de canalisation 
de la meme 6poque si parfaitement con- 
serve que, un peu restaure, il pourrait 
fournir ä la ville 2.500 hectolitres d'eau 
par jour. 

IX Rap in. 


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In the vorkr of Kars vhich characterise him best the ideal of harmony 
seems to he perfectly realised. It is the harmony of the represented phenom- 
enon with its aesthetic form, that of Line with color, of surface with me i 
and space. Within this harmony the virtual presence of one leading idea is 
felt, t\ft o" greatness, of monumentality . The very vo lumen of bodies and of 
entire landscape* is treat d with a tenderness, with a cult, sometimes recalling 
early Flemish masters. Is Kars likeveise natural and naive, is his creative 
procc-s.- fs primary as their.' ? 

Ve find Wae ansve • in sona meaningful facts. This spirit of adoration 
of physical power dwelt in ft delicate and even weakly body, the worshipper 
of Beauty was himself mysteriously ugly. So his art would rather be the 
outcome of a personality vhich overcomes itself, finding in the work its 
own antithsis which is perfection and happiness. 

Georges Kara (Karpeles) ,also the son of a miller, born 1380 in the 

village Kralupy near Prague, had a peaceful or even idyllic youth. lie studied 

first at th» a secondary school in Prague and at a private art school in 

Munich; after two years Franz von Stuck admitted him to the Academy. Until 

1905 he vfc- his student, though French Impressionists attracted the young 

artist more. At the first opportunity he vent to Paris, afterwards to Sp8in. 

There he studied nature, mainly a on the sea shore, and copied admired 

masters like Velasquez and Goya, while his friendship with the cubistic 

painter Juan Gris seems not to have influenced his art. Later, as a resident 

he still Sjjent many suuiaers 
of Paris, Scfes^feiiiosbsatemaTsyeci^aStca in Spain. 

To Prague too he returned often: "^lso in the spirit of some youn 
artist.- of Prague a revolution broke out. However, I wan stronger impres- 
sed Ly it in Paris where Matisse and Picasso worked. " It shoul'i be noted 

that in Paris too he always worked closely to Mature, out of faithful Love 
of Life. Floren t Fels divided fcfee 8 ..-velopaent of Kars into three periods: 
One of mere impressionism, until 1908} a second, until 1914., of a ratner ana- 
lytical conception of form by stronger means of expression} end nis third, 
vhen he strove to objective form, by both line and color, subo?ul.-a ing his 
personal feeling to control o.l Natur;. 

At the time of all these efforts which reouired the man in his entirety, 
not mach of the happiness of hie childhood had been left. Hay be that a few 
echoes of it still enabled him to overcome dangerous complexes and singular 
crises. Vhen I came on a summerday of 1931 to visit him in his home on the 
Montmartre he was bedridden and had to be operated the other day. with wishes 
for his health I wanted to go. But Mrs. Kars invited me to stay, and her in* 
vitation was so convincingly sincere that. 1 accepted, und we spoke much and 
exclusively about him. She distinguished nie by great confidence and told me 
on this deep man things which I wouldn't publish if he were still alive. 
Today, however, 1 am obliged to do so. Once, inmidst unusual suceessess, he 
came home in visible depression and declared to his wife that he have not the 
slightest talent and would not longer cheat people; end himself, Bven she (who 
looked as if she were hin embodied ideal of abundance and was highly educated, 
motherly and devoted) was not able to get him out of this dejection, in spite 
of his physical weakness he hastened to become a guard of a factory - until 
the crisis passed over. 

Besides this k incident he posses ed most logical judgment, he was a 
faithful friend and did much for other artists. 

At the time of war '-no Disaster he found refuges near Lyon and within 
this city, then, in December 1942, he reached Switzerland. Mtvo ye> rs 
creative efforts still strengthened and comforted him, until full knowledge 
brought him into borderless despair. Finally he had learned that of all his 


numerous rhecboslovaklan relative« no one had remained sllve. When the defeat 

of Na si-Germany close und the survivors vere full of ■« hope, on February 

5, 19^5, Georgen Kars took his life. His sufferings and his unwillingness to 


outlive the Cut? strophe were Iii;? share in the Jewish mrtyrdom. 

Since 1909 he had exhibited in Paris, first in the Salon d» Autotme, 

sine? 1913 with the Independent?-, after 1922 in the Salon das Tuilories. His 

drawings vere shown 1922 in '.a Licorne Gallery, 1928 ia that of Bemier. In 

the SWWs year on exhibit of hi? paintings vsr arranged in the Berthe Veill 

Galle 'y. He was also represented in international exhibitions} in London 

(Eoyal G&llery), Tokyo (1926), Geneva fand üordeeu (1927), Vienna (1930), 

finally in Aaste dam. BVan Inaidst the German time his friends took c : 

of two semi-public shows in Lyon. The most impressive one was doubtlo- the 

memorial exhibition which Paris stw late in 1945. 

Before Vcrld Vor II drawings of the artist were acquired by the Albertina, 

Vienna, the Graphic Collection of Mannheim, while some o:' his paintings fire in 

the museums of Prague,,* r.nd Lyon. The Viv-nr Museum of Modem Art hr-d 


also bought one painting, it is doubt -"ul, h wether any one of the artist 1 s 
works which the German museums of Hamburg, ISannov-r, Elberfeld, Wiesbaden and 
Cologne had possessed still exists. Before 1939 many prorate collections too 
were enriched by vor:: of Kare, e.g. that of fugen :- de Rothschild, Paris. 

Amons- the authors who wrote about the artist were Floren t Fela (G. K,/, 
dition Triangle, Pa-Is) j Ban a Tietzs (in "Die Bildenden Kuenste", Vienna 1919/ 
and in "Kuns- und Kuenstlor", Berlin 1929) J Jose; ^r.lmer fa "Da? felt", Vienna 
1924.) ; Aadra Salmon (in "Le Revue de France", Paris .1928) ; Qsk&r fciiuerer (in 
"Deutsche Kunst und Dekor? tion", Darmstadt 1928 end 1930); Nino Frank (in B L» Art 
Vivant' ! ,Pi- : is 19 29^ J Aurel ie Gottlieb( in "Menorrh" , Vienna I9?2). Apropos of the 
mentioned memorial "how Jaceues da La^ard, Clauds ogs • Ksrx, . aymond Cogniat and 
other Parisian critics celebrated our master-. May be,hov : , that the future 
vill still much add to his appreciation. 

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