Featured Artist | Théo Tobiasse

Featured Artist | Théo Tobiasse


Théo Tobiasse, David et Bethsabee (David and Bathsheba).
Color lithograph and carborundum.


Davidson Galleries is pleased to share available works from Théo Tobiasse including original lithographs, etchings, and carborundum prints; the complete L'Opéra Des Saltimbanques portfolio and Shavuot portfolio; and period exhibition posters. Known for his paintings, prints, and stained glass work, this selection showcases the brilliance of color, energy, and emotion in Tobiasse’s work. The Davidson Galleries collection includes several pieces created by Tobiasse with lithographer Pierre Chave in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, featuring up to twenty layers of color.

Théo Tobiasse, Jerusalem. Color lithograph.


A survivor of the Nazi occupation of Paris, Tobiasse frequently addressed the Jewish experience and the resulting duality of alienation and celebration. Themes of exile and isolation coexist with depictions of ceremony and performance. Significant locations in the artist’s life such as Paris, Lithuania, and Jerusalem are referenced in imagery and by name. Often compared to Marc Chagall for his use of religious iconography and Biblical allusions, Tobiasse delved further into a personal exploration of tragedy from his own memory of travel and searching, especially in the motif of the train.

Théo Tobiasse, Wedding Feast. Color lithograph.

Embracing exaggeration, Tobiasse, also shared the joy of ceremony and the magic of performance in the less inhibited moments of life. Unrestricted by formal boundaries, Tobiasse’s colors leave the limits of their forms, figures overwhelm their stages, and animals grow an extra two pairs of legs. In the service of his stories, all enhancements are acceptable.

Théo Tobiasse, from L'Opéra des Saltimbanques. Color lithograph.
Théo Tobiasse, from L'Opéra des Saltimbanques. Color lithograph.


Théo Tobiasse was born in Jaffa, Palestine  in 1927. He was raised in his parents’ native Lithuania and settled in Paris in 1931 with his family. Living in Paris during the German occupation, Tobiasse and his family narrowly escaped deportation during the Vélodrome d'Hiver (the largest French deportation of Jews during the Holocaust) in July 1942 and managed to hide in a small apartment for two years until Paris’s liberation. Before the war, Tobiasse briefly studied commercial art. In 1944 he became a graphic designer and set designer for businesses including the fashion house Hermès. He relocated to Nice in 1950 and became a full-time painter in 1960, largely self-taught in oil and gouache painting. He established his primary lithography workshop in Saint-Paul-de-Vence in 1976 with Pierre Chave. Throughout the 1970, 80s and 90s ,Tobiasse traveled and exhibited frequently throughout France and to Jerusalem and New York. He passed away in 2012 in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France. 


Théo Tobiasse, Couple with Children. Color lithograph.

Please view these works by Théo Tobiasse, offered by Davidson Galleries, on our website here: Collection | Théo Tobiasse or call/email info@davidsongalleries.com to make an appointment to view them in person.