Ossip Zadkine was a Belarusian-born artist who lived in France. He is primarily known as a sculptor, but also produced paintings and lithographs.
Zadkine was born as born in a Jewish family in Vitebsk. After attending art school in London, Zadkine settled in Paris about 1910. There he became part of the new Cubist movement (1914-1925). He later developed his own style, one that was strongly influenced by African art.
Zadkine served as a stretcher-bearer in the French Army during World War I, and was wounded in action. He spent the World War II years in America. His best-known work is probably the sculpture "The Destroyed City" (1951-1953), represents a man without a heart, a memorial to the destruction of the center of the Dutch city Rotterdam in 1940 by the German Luftwaffe.
In 1920, Zadkine married Valentine Prax (1899—1991), an Algerian-born painter of Sicilian and French Catalan descent. They had no children. Zadkine was a friend of Henry Miller and was represented by the character Borowski in Tropic of Cancer (novel).
The artist's only child, Nicolas Hasle (born 1960), was the result of his affair with a Danish woman, Annelise Hasle. Since 2009, Hasle, a psychiatrist, who was acknowledged by the artist and had his parentage legally established in France in the 1980s, has been party to a lawsuit with the City of Paris to establish his claim to his father's estate. Zadkine died in Paris in 1967 at the age of 77 after undergoing abdominal surgery and was interred in the Cimetière du Montparnasse. His former home and studio is now the Musée Zadkine.
There is also a Musée Zadkine in the village of Les Arques in the Midi-Pyrénées region. Zadkine lived in Les Arques for a number of years, and while there, carved an enormous Christ on the Cross and Pieta that are featured in the 12th-century church which stands opposite the museum.