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What’s In a Name? Possibly Everything, for an Artist

 In Artists & Special Collections, Csaba Markus, Erte, Fanch Ledan, Francisco Goya, Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Peter Max, Rembrandt van Rijn, Salvador Dali, Yaacov Agam

Artist signatures are often as coveted as the artwork they create. After all, in terms of authenticity an artist’s signature can be the ultimate seal of approval. So have you ever wondered where some of your favorite featured Park West Gallery artists got their monikers?

  • François Ledan | aka “Fanch” — a Breton nickname for François
  • Pablo Picasso | birth name: Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso (imagine signing that on a canvas!) — a series of names honoring various saints and relatives, with Ruiz and Picasso for his father and mother, respectively, as per Spanish custom
  • Yaacov Agam | birth name: Yaacov (or “Jacob”) Gipstein
  • Rembrandt van Rijn | birth name: Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
  • Erté | pseudonym derived from French pronunciation of R.T. — the initials of his birth name: Romain de Tirtoff
  • Francisco Goya | birth name: Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes
  • Marc Chagall | birth name: Moishe Shagal — a dialectal North-Eastern Yiddish variant of the surname “Segal”
  • Salvador Dalí | birth name: Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech (say that five times fast!)
  • Peter Max | birth name: Peter Max Finkelstein
  • Csaba Markus | Csaba, meaning “he who leaves his country” and Markus, a traditional Hungarian surname derived from Mars (the Greek god of war)

Read the biographies of your favorite Park West Gallery artists

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