The sculptor Ossip Zadkine spent nearly four decades living in this bucolic retreat near the Jardin du Luxembourg, creating graceful, elongated figures known for their clean lines and simplified features. Zadkine, a Russian-Jewish émigré, moved to Paris in 1910 and fell into a circle of avant-garde artists. His early works, influenced by African, Greek, and Roman art, later took a Cubist turn, no doubt under the influence of his friend, the founder of the Cubist movement:
Pablo Picasso. The museum displays a substantial portion of the 400 sculptures and 300 drawings bequeathed to the city by his wife, artist Valentine Prax. It was renovated in 2012 to celebrate its 30th anniversary. There are busts in bronze and stone reflecting the range of Zadkine's style, and an airy back room filled with lithe female nudes in polished wood. The leafy garden is worth the trip alone: it contains a dozen statues nestled in the trees, including The Destroyed City, a memorial to the Dutch city of Rotterdam, destroyed by the Germans in 1940.