Felicia Pacanowska Biography – Jacob Samuel

Felicia Pacanowska was born in 1907. She was raised in Lodz, a large industrial center with a large Jewish population. 
Pacanowska was born into a family of artists. Both her parents recognized her artistic talent and encouraged her to develop her artistic skills. After high school, Pacanowska attended the School of Fine Arts in Warsaw and received a “Beaux-Arts” diploma.
Pacanowska specialized in painting and engraving. She engraved on wood and copper, and her passion for painting accompanied her throughout life.
Pacanowska left Poland in 1932 to join the Jewish painters of the Ecole de Paris. For many months, she studied the engravings in the library of prints and drawings at the Louvre.
In 1935, Pacanowska traveled to Italy and England. She then returned to Poland for a few months to exhibit fifty engravings and monotypes at the Institute of Art. Pacanowska visited her parents during her trip to Poland, and sadly, she was not aware that this visit to her parents would be her last ever, because they were later exterminated by the Nazis before she had a chance to see them again.
Pacanowska returned to Paris in 1937 and perfected her etching technique. At the beginning of the war, she served as a designer in an aviation factory, where she suffered from harassment and oppression. In 1942 she was one of the few who miraculously escaped the notorious raid of the Vel d’Hiv.
Until the end of the war, Pacanowska lived in dangerous conditions and in fear. All her art pieces and work tools were lost. Upon learning about the death of her parents, she fell into a depression, yet nonetheless, she continued creating her artwork, which ended up saving her.
In 1947, Pacanowska returned to Paris to her life of painting and etching, as well as various other media. She participated in many major exhibitions and gained recognition and respect. She participated in the Autumn Salon and the Salon des Independents, as well as many others.
Her work was well represented in many public collections and was sought after by many collectors, and with her recognition, she was able to charge high prices for her engravings and etchings. Felicia Pacanowska died in Rome in 2002.



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