Nicolas de Staël, born in Saint Petersburg in 1914, was a French painter of Russian origin known for his use of a thick impasto and his highly abstract landscape painting. He also worked with collage, textiles and illustration. His renowned artwork includes paintings such as Noon Landscape, Marseille sous la neige and Le Mur. Since 1953, he started suffering from severe depression, exhaustion and insomnia, which led to his suicide. He died in 1955 in Paris, at the age of 41.