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Jean Selz

(b Paris, April 5, 1876; d Rueil-la-Gadelière, Eure-et-Loir, Oct 7, 1958).

French painter, printmaker, draughtsman and writer. His nature, character, tastes and way of life were in perfect harmony with the freedom, daring and violence of his painting. He was brought up in a musical environment: his father, of Flemish origin, was a violin teacher and his mother, from Lorraine, was a piano teacher. He studied music himself to quite a high standard and later played the double-bass (and sometimes the bass drum, a source of considerable pleasure) in his regimental band. His family had come to live at Le Vésinet near Paris, and he spent his childhood both there and later at Chatou on the Seine. From 1892 he began to take an interest in painting, though he worked as a mechanic and became a racing cyclist.

After his first marriage (to Suzanne Berly) Vlaminck gave up cycling and returned to music. He gave violin lessons and played the violin in popular orchestras and café-concerts in Paris. He also made his début as a journalist in the late 19th century and wrote articles for anarchist papers such as ...