During the first decade of the 20th century, numerous painters and sculptors migrated to Paris, which had become the international nexus for avant-garde art. The French capital was appealing to those artists who sought to liberate themselves from the provincial or academic training of their homelands. Foremost among these were Jules Pascin (Julius Pincas), Chaïm Soutine, and other artists associated with the peintres maudits (accursed painters). Following World War I, some Surrealist painters, including Max Ernst, were counted among the school. Bringing with them their variegated customs, these artists converged upon the Montmartre and Montparnasse districts to absorb and contribute to the latest artistic developments, often fusing new elements with aspects of their respective traditions in their works. Not surprisingly, considering their various backgrounds, these artists did not adhere to one fixed style typical of a “school”; however, they were united in defiance against academicism. Despite diverse stylistic approaches, many relied upon the human figure and immediate social conditions as subjects, dealing with themes such as poverty, moral dissolution, personal alienation, and the spectacle of the changing city itself. However, with the end of World War II and the advent of Abstract Expressionism and the New York School, these primarily figurative painters were displaced from the center of the avant-garde. Others associated with the School of Paris include Marc Chagall, Tsuguharu (Léonard) Foujita, and Amedeo Modigliani.