Set up in Poland for a long time, the Schreter family has moved away from the traditional and religious aspects of Judaism. Zygmund’s father, Max Schreter, a textile manufacturer, asks his son to do drawings on his production fabrics. This is Zygmund’s first contact with the visual arts. His mother teaches him music and Schreter becomes a violinist. Schreter studies in a Russian school in Lodz and he draws people’s attention through his paintings. He often sees some young art amateurs among which the Polish poet Julian Tuwim, the musician and conductor Kletzki and the composer Tanzman.
In 1914, Schreter goes to Karlsbadhe, Germany and, overtaken by World War I, he ends up as a Russian civilian prisoner. The Schreters know the German language quite well and use it more often than Yiddish.
In 1923, Zygmund Schreter studies in Berlin with Martin Brandenbourg and Lovis Corinth at the free Academy of Levine Funke where he meets several artists that he will meet again in Montparnasse. During these years, Schreter earns his living above all with his violin and plays with the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra or at the Max Reinhart theatre. At the same time, he exhibits in 1927 some watercolours in Lodz.
In 1929, he takes part in Berlin in an exhibition organised by the famous graphic artist Ketti Kolvitz.
Schreter arrives in France in 1934, he first settles in Cannes and then, with the help of the sculptor S.Tamari, he joins Paris. He lives on 36, avenue de Châtillon, just behind Montparnasse where also lives the sculptor Germaine Richier.
During the Occupation, Schreter stays in his atelier, surrounded by his neighbours who protect him. Among them, there is the Wladislaw family that runs the restaurant Wadia on Campagne Première street. Schreter is financially supported by a collector from Buenos Aires who regularly buys his paintings.
Some of his works are signed Szreter or Zreter.
The post-war years are punctuated with many trips to Spain, Finland, Israel, Switzerland and to the United States.
When the artist dies in 1977, the heirs decide to organize an exhibition at the national museum of Lodz.
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