Size 28 cm x 23 cm x 7 cm | 2 kg
Medium: Wood, Bronze
Jean Lambert-Rucki (1888–1967), a Polish avant-garde artist, sculptor, and graphic artist, was best known for his participation in the Cubist, Surrealist and Art Deco movements. He exhibited at the 1913 Salon d'Automne in Paris; from 1919 was represented by both Léonce Rosenberg at the Galerie de l'Effort Moderne and the art dealer Paul Guillaume. In March 1920, Lambert-Rucki exhibited at the second exhibition of la Section d'Or, Galerie de La Boétie, Paris, and participated in the first exhibition of l'Union des Artistes Modernes, where he would continue to show his works. Working in diverse styles and media, at times influenced by the tribal art of Africa, Lambert-Rucki became well known for his Cubist cityscapes. Born in 1888 in Kraków, Poland, Jean Lambert-Rucki was the youngest of a large family. He was eleven years old when his father died suddenly. A child prodigy, he earned a living by making portraits that surprised the Bourgeoisie of Kraków. He attended art school in his hometown to pursue his studies, and then went to the School of Fine Arts in Kraków where he became friends with Moise Kisling, an artist he would soon find in Paris. His youth was marked by the rich folklore of Central Europe. He made several trips to Russia, frequented gypsies, and learned Russian dances. His work throughout his career would remain deeply imbued with the product of these early experiences.
Enthused by an exhibition of works by Gauguin in Kraków, he decided to go to Paris, where he arrived one morning in February 1911 with 17 Francs in his pocket. He immediately met friends of Polish origin who hosted him. Enrolling at the Académie Colarossi, he mingled with bohemian artists of Montparnasse at Le Dôme Café and Café de la Rotonde. There he met Chaim Soutine, Léopold Survage, Tsuguharu Foujita, Blaise Cendrars, Max Jacob and Amedeo Modigliani; with which he shared a room at 8 rue de la Grande-Chaumiere in Montparnasse, a studio rented to them by the Polish poet, writer and art dealer Léopold Zborowski.
Lambert-Rucki earned his living by retouching photographs in Montmartre, something which did not fulfill his monetary needs. In 1913 he moved into a studio at 29 rue Campagne Premiere in the 14th arrondissement of Paris. In 1914 he engaged in the French Foreign Legion to serve France during the war. He changed his name to Jean Lambert-Rucki. Wounded during the war, he was assigned to the Archeological Service at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki in Greece, where he conducts excavations. He later made copies of the mosaics of Sainte Sophie de Salonique for the Louvre under the direction of Jean Guiffrey the Curator for the Department of Painting, Musées nationaux.
During his military service he befriends the sculptors Joseph Csaky and Gustave Miklos, soon to become the godfather of Lambert-Rucki's daughter Théano, called "Mara". In 1918, demobilized, Lambert-Rucki returned to Paris where he settled at 12 rue du Moulin-de-Beurre in the Montparnasse district.