Elie Anatole Pavil was born in Odessa, Russia in 1873. He came to Paris in 1892 at the age of 19. He established himself in Montmartre, on the Rue Caulaincourt. When he first arrived he enrolled at the Académie Julian, and later worked at the studio of Bouguereau. After becoming friendly with Pissarro and meeting other Impressionists – Renoir, Sisley and Moet – he renounced academic training and began to paint independently.
At the time of his arrival it was the high point of La Belle Époque; Pavil dedicated himself to capturing its atmosphere on canvas. For most of the next fifty years he painted the cafes, the beautiful women, the jazz bands and artist ateliers of Paris. His paintings show an intimate knowledge of the inhabitants of the streets and alleys of Montmartre. Elegant couples dancing, beautiful models posing, working men finishing their day with a drink at the bar, all were captured in Pavil’s carefully balanced compositions, many of which show the distinct the influence of Degas and Renoir.
Elie Anatole Pavil exhibited at the Salon des Artists Francais, Salon des Indépendants, and the Salon d’Automne. He exhibited at Galerie Charpentier, Galerie Georges Petit, and Galerie Bernheim Jeune. Claude Monet described Pavil’s paintings as “little marvels”. He was awarded Chevalier de la l’Légion d’Honneur. Pavil also counted Pissarro among his friends. Pavil continued painting in Rabat, with the same passion, until the his death in 1948.
He finished his life in Morocco, another place for which he had a lifelong interest. In 1973 Pavil’s atelier was sold at auction in Paris more than 200 works that spanned four decades.
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
Musée Petit Palais, Paris