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Jacques Neuville“Modern Woman”
Oil on canvas, highly textured painting by Jacques Neuville. Signed Circa 1955. Original wood frame. Condition: Good. Overall framed 13 by 11.25 inches. Jacques Neuville, a forger for the French Resistance in World War II who became a San Francisco department store executive, died on Dec. 29 at his home in Sausalito, Calif. He was 82. Mr. Neuville was awarded the Croix de Guerre for his wartime service in the anti-Nazi underground in Lyons and Paris. He was born and reared in Berlin as Gunther Neustadt, the child of a well-to-do Jewish family in the clothing trade. As the Nazis took control of Germany, he was sent by his family to Paris, where he studied painting. He adopted a French version of his surname, changed Gunther to Jacques and joined the French Army. When his artillery unit was overwhelmed by German forces, Mr. Neuville made his way to a Resistance unit in Lyons and went to work forging the ration cards, passports, and marriage and birth certificates that were used for false identities. As he later told his family, he was betrayed to the Gestapo by a woman who had occasion to go through his trouser pockets one night and found many ration cards. He was in prison for six weeks until a sympathetic French guard left doors open, allowing Mr. Neuville and other prisoners to escape. He knocked at random on the window of an apartment belonging to a woman named Jeanne Lilaze, who gave him sanctuary. Late in 1940 he went to Paris, where he served in an underground unit by working as a street and cafe portrait artist. When his customers were German officers, he passed on what he learned in conversation with them to the Resistance. Mr. Neuville received the Croix de Guerre in 1946 and later received a United States citation for providing information on pilots captured by the Germans. At the end of the war, he returned to Lyons and married Christianne Lilaze, the daughter of the woman who had given him refuge. In 1952, he began a marketing career in San Francisco. He later became the merchandising manager at Macy's, where he helped to develop a marketing concept called Macy's Fifth Floor, in which disparate items like china, luggage and stationery were displayed together. He retired in 1977. In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Charlotte Neuville, of New York, and Madeline Bohrer, of Salzburg, Austria, and four grandchildren.
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