Born into a Sephardic Jewish family in Vidin, Bulgaria on 31 March 1885, Pascin was brought up in Bucharest, where his earliest drawings were made surreptitiously in a local brothel. The female body remained a constant throughout his artistic career: casually posed, nude or partially dressed. Pascin was educated in Vienna and Munich. He moved to Paris in 1905 and contributed to the German satirical magazine Simplicissimus. His first paintings demonstrated the influence of the French Post-impressionist school and the Fauves. Despite exhibiting at the Salon d’Automne and Salon des Indépendents, Pascin became depressed over his lack of critical success, enrolling at the Académie Colarossi in Paris and spending hours copying Old Masters in the Louvre. During the First World War, he avoided military service by moving first to London then to America in 1914. There Pascin was part of the artists’ circle based around the Penguin Club. Set up by Walter Kuhn in 1916 in a modest East 15th Street brownstone, it hosted weekly drawing classes, exhibitions and an annual ball. In 1920 he returned to France and became closely associated with the École de Paris circle of Chagall, Modigliani and Soutine. In Paris, on 1 June 1930, on the eve of his first solo exhibition, tormented by depression and alcoholism, Pascin took his own life.