Painting: A Thousand Vibrations

In the decade since his death, Nicolas de Staël has become a mythical figure m the Paris art world. His life pro vided most of the necessary romantic ingredients. He was an athletic, tall, brooding Russian aristocrat, a former Foreign Legionnaire, remotely related to the 19th century French writer Madame de Staël, and a compulsive painter. When at the age of 41 he dived out of a third-story window in the Riviera resort of Antibes, his suicide rounded out the myth.

In death, De Staël's reputation has become well fed and well housed His work is backed by a market...

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