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Jean Jansem (French, 1920-2013)


Also known as:  Jean Léon Jansem

Birth Place: Bursa, Turkey


Who is painter Jean Jansem?

.Jean Jansem was a French-Armenian painter whose work in the twentieth century was integral to liberating portrait painting from its realist shackles. Though inspired by Goya and Brueghel, Jansem’s work is unique in its stark relationship with the female form. Even through today’s lens, Jansem’s work feels provocative and fresh, something that eludes many of his contemporaries -- who can often feel a bit stale and dated.

Jean Jamsen enjoyed much acclaim during his lifetime. He won the Comparison Prize while living in Mexico in 1958. In Japan, there are two museums that exclusively house Jansem’s work -- one located in Tokyo Ginza, the other in Nagano Prefecture Azumino. He was awarded a medal of honor from the President of Armenia on his 90th birthday. He died at the age of 93, at his home just outside of Paris.

What kind of art did Jean Jansem make?

Jean Jansem made figurative and realist paintings that often depicted the people and vistas of Paris, France. His main influences included Goya and Brueghel, two forces that ruled Jansem’s aesthetic and are apparent to even casual observers. He wasn’t commercially successful early in his artistic career, but post-World War II Jansem’s career took off. In the 1950s, his paintings took a less somber tone, giving his work wider appeal and adding new depth to his catalog. The 1950s were Jansem’s most fruitful time artistically, and the time when many of his awards were awarded including the Prix Populiste (1953) and the Bourse Nationale (1954).

How did painter Jean Jansem get started?

Born in Seuleuze, Armenia, Jean Jansem moved to Paris at the tender age of twelve. Early on, he enjoyed making reproductions of ancient sculptures. For three years the young artist was mostly bedridden and in hospital, thanks to an accident where he broke many of the bones in his foot. It was during this time that Jansem would be able to reflect and meditate, creating the grave persona that haunted much of his early work. His first jobs were producing designs and patterns for fabric, making furniture, and other artistic pursuits. He attended the Ecole Des Arts Decoratifs where he studied with the greats -- Beianchon, Leguelt, and Oudet. It was there that Jansem would define his style -- owing much to Goya and Brueghel but tempered with his own completely original voice.

How much are Jean Jansem paintings worth?

Jean Jansem had a long and prolific career, as such his paintings are typically worth thousands of dollars. On the low-end, sketches can be had for hundreds, but on the high end, a piece can go for $50,000 or more. The most ever paid for a Jean Jansem painting at auction is $67,000 for the piece A La Lisiere de la Ville (1975) on February 14th, 2008. It is a prototypical Jansem, a washed out and rainy landscape of the artist’s adopted home of Paris, France.

Where to buy Jean Jansem paintings for sale?

See works for sale below. Why buy from Heritage? Art buyers feel confident because our experts know the market and put careful valuations on artwork for sale. We make the bidding process easier to help you expand your art collection.

How to value Jean Jansem paintings?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services department.

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