Nam (Lehmann), Jacques / “Léopards et Antilopes” / A gold leaf and painted lacquer panel / 1920 -1925 / Height: 55,5 cms., Width: 76,5 cms.
Nam, Jacques – Was born in Paris in a very musical family. As from a very young age he started drawing the world surrounding him. Later, next to his great love for cats, he worked as an illustrator and drew many other animals. The inspiration was found through his teacher at the “École des Beaux Arts” (Louis-Léon Gerome) who directed him, in 1898, to the Zoo of Antwerp to study and draw animals. Here he drew reptiles, birds-of-prey and monkeys. In Paris he was frequently found in the ‘Jardin des plantes’. To provide in his own maintenance he illustrated for humorous weekly and monthly magazines. Next to his illustrations, paintings and sculptures he started focusing, in the beginning of the 1920’s, on the manufacturing of lacquer panels. He was taught this craft, as well as Eileen Gray and Jean Dunand, by the Japanese lacquer specialist Seizo Sugowara. He participated at the “Exposition Internationales des Arts Décoratifs et Industrielles Modernes” in 1925 where he won a gold medal. In 1926 he was awarded with the “Chevalier de la l’égion d’honneur”. He shared his passion for cats with the famous French writer Colette and illustrated books for her as “Sept dialogues de bêtes” and “Chats”. Some of the bronze sculptures made by Nam were also executed in ceramics by the “Manufacture de Sèvres”. His work is to be admired at “Musée la Piscine” in Roubaix and in the “Musée Poulain” in Vernon (France). The lacquer panels by Nam are quite rare and sought after, they can be found in private as well as in museum collections.