Zygmunt Landau was born into a family of rabbis. He studied with painter Henri Epstein at Jakub Kacenbogen’s drawing school in Lodz. He later attended Stanislas Lentz’s studio at the School of Fine Arts in Warsaw. When he was eighteen years old, he taught painting. He arrived in Paris in 1920, and settled at La Ruche. He studied at the Grande Chaumiere and the Colarossi academies, and became friends with Kisling. He admired Cézanne and spent time in museums. In 1928, he went back to Poland to show his paintings in Warsaw and in Lodz. His work was also recognized in England and in the United States, thanks to the English critic and painter Roger Fry, who shared an apartment with him in Saint-Tropez. He illustrated Edmond Fleg’s Écoute Israël (Listen Israel), which was published by La Cigogne before World War II. In September 1939, he took refuge in Saint-Tropez. Following the war, Zygmunt Landau divided his time between Saint-Tropez, Nice, and Paris, where he regularly exhibited his work. He also spent time in London and Stockholm. At the end of the 1950s, he settled in Israel where he continued to paint. In 1962, he produced stained-glass windows for the small YMCA chapel in Tiberias, Israel. This was his last work.
Capitale des arts, le Paris des années 1905-1939 attire les artistes du monde entier. De cette période de foisonnement, un terme est resté, celui d'Ecole de Paris, qui recouvre une grande diversité d'expression artistique. Dans ce brassage dont Montparnasse est le creuset, un groupe se distingue : celui des artistes juifs venus de Russie, de Pologne et d'Europe centrale. Si leurs styles sont variés, un destin commun les rassemble : ils fuient l'antisémitisme de leur pays d'origine. Certains ont connu la célébrité dès les années 1920, tels Soutine, Lipchitz ou Chagall. D'autres n'ont pas eu le temps ou la chance d'y accéder. Près de la moitié a péri dans les camps de concentration nazis.
From 1905 to 1939, Paris attracted artists from all over the globe as the capital of the art world. This period of artistic proliferation became known as the School of Paris, and includes a great diversity of artistic expression. Within the teeming art world centred on Montparnasse, one group set itself apart: Jewish artists from Russia, Poland, and Central Europe. Although their styles were diverse, they shared the common fate of fleeing anti-Semitic persecutions in their home countries. Some became famous in the 1920s, such as Soutine, Lipchitz, and Chagall, while others did not have the time or the luck to gain renown. Nearly half of these artists died in Nazi concentration camps.