View of Paris

Jaan Grünberg View of Paris 1939 monotype, paper 37.7 × 49.5 cm

Jaan Grünberg lived in Paris for a total of nine years. This monotype was completed during the last months of his second Paris period – he had to leave France in the autumn of 1939 when the Second World War broke out. This is evidently a springtime view, yet the lightness of the colours and the abundance of air had become commonplace in Jaan Grünberg’s works from that time, which were very popular in Parisian galleries, and do not necessarily arise exclusively from the wish to capture a springtime atmosphere. As in views of Paris by many other artists, so here as well the author tries to capture a city that is as if timeless: a romantic oasis untouched by modernity, nostalgic already at the moment of its birth. Grünberg was familiar with the monotype – a technique where an image is painted on a glass, plastic or metal plate and thereafter one single print is made. He was eminently adept in that technique, although it is known that he sometimes retouched depictions after making the print. At the start of 1939, Grünberg even displayed his monotypes in Johannesburg, allegedly with great success. When he left Paris, Grünberg was forced to leave all his paintings behind. For this reason, even this work has made its way to Estonia from France and only just few years ago.