L’Ondine et le Pifferaro dated 1924-25, is a masterpiece from the painter’s mature period, when he was close to Marc Chagall. The musician playing the piffero, a rustic Italian flute, gazes at the water nymph stripped bare in front of him. References to ancient themes are infused with Zak’s very particular modernist style. His palette of sophisticated tones and the linear, elongated forms of his subjects create a unique atmosphere that is at once lyrical and bucolic, perfectly expressing the nostalgic revival of Classicism that characterizes his work. The following year, Zak died in his prime at the age of 41. He was survived by his wife Jadwika, who opened the famous "Galerie Zak" at 16 Rue de l’Abbaye in Saint-Germain-des-Près, Paris, in 1928.
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