Louis Lille

1897 1957
(Pologne) 1897 /   (France) 1957

Louis LILLE (Ludwik or Ludwig Lille, aka)


Louis Lille was very young when he found his vocation. He painted his first painting at the age of fifteen. Between 1920 and 1923, he joined the group of formists in Krakow, which was both marked by cubism and surrealist trends. He was also interested in Artes since it was created in 1929. The latter was one of the Polish artistic circles in the interwar period.

In 1928, he wrote the preface of the Hahn and Henrdyk Wlodarski exhibition in Lvov, in which he explained Polish visitors the principles of cubism. He participated in Artes’ exhibitions since its first exhibition, which took place in 1930. A few months later, he became the president of this association. He also took part in the demonstrations organized by Artes from 1930 to 1932 in Lvov, Warsaw, Krakow, Lodz, Stanislavov and all over Poland.

Like most of Artes‘ other members who were attracted by the French capital, Louis Lille arrived in Paris in the beginning of 1937. He then considered that his cubist phase was over and joined the group of Polish artists in Paris. He became particularly close to Zygmund Schreter. He also spent time with Arpad Szenes, Vieira da Silva and Bruno Schultz (who visited Paris before the war). While he continued to paint, he also engraved, notably using the drypoint technique. He later produced sculptures too.


During the war, he managed to stay in Paris and dedicated himself to saving Jewish religious objects. This activity created the basis of the Lille collection which is today kept both at the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme (museum of Jewish art and history) in Paris and at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. After the war, he continued to paint. He also left engravings, particularly an illustration of the Polish translation of the Songs of Songs published in Lvov in 1922.