The Artists

Grégoire Michonze
No story. Pure poetry.

Grégoire Michonze, The Artists
Portrait of Grégoire Michonze

Art writer Michèle Kieffer calls Grégoire Michonze “the forgotten artist.” And while many artists might share that title, the life of Grégoire Michonze paints a picture of what is remembered and why in the world of art.

Grégoire Michonze was born at the dawn of the 20th century in the city of Chișinău, the capital of Moldova, in the Bessarabia region. It was a strange time and place to grow up; massive political change rocked the city almost yearly. When Michonze was a child, Chișinău was a part of the Russian Empire, and violently divided between it’s Romanian and Jewish population, leading to anti-Semitic riots. When Michonze was 15 years old, local men were drafted to fight in the Russian Army in WWI, and a year later Bessarabia joined the Kingdom of Romania. Michonze joined the Chișinău Art Academy in 1919, and studied the egg tempera techniques of classical Russian icon painting while Romanian money transformed the city with new railroads and education programs.

In 1922, the twenty-year-old Michonze moved to Paris to study at the École des Beaux-Arts, and landed squarely in the heart of the burgeoning Surrealist movement. First meeting Max Ernst, Michonze was introduced to the whole crew: André Breton, Paul Éluard, Yves Tanguy and André Masson.

Reed Enger, "Grégoire Michonze, No story. Pure poetry.," in Obelisk Art History, Published March 11, 2019; last modified October 27, 2022,

Grégoire Michonze was a Moldovan artist born on March 22, 1902. Michonze contributed to the Post-Impressionist movement, worked in France and died on December 29, 1982.

Self-portrait, Grégoire Michonze

Self-portrait 1918

Landscape of the Sleeper, Grégoire Michonze

Landscape of the Sleeper 1929

The Ballet Dancer, Grégoire Michonze

The Ballet Dancer 1934

Village People, Grégoire Michonze

Village People 1952

Dinner is Served, Grégoire Michonze

Dinner is Served 1958

Playful Scene, Grégoire Michonze

Playful Scene 1970

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