When Nathan Imenitoff was fifteen years old, he quit school to take drawing and modeling classes. In 1904, his family left the anti-Semitic Tsarist regime for the United States. He decided to move to Paris and enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He married a Polish doctor and acquired French nationality. He never returned to Russia.
In 1921, Imenitoff settled in Boulogne-Billancourt. In the interwar years, he worked with the Belgian architect Henry Lacoste, for whom he notably decorated the Belgian pavilions for the Colonial Exhibition in 1931 and the World Fair in 1937. He mostly represented masks and animal subjects.
He was a member of the jury at the Salon d’Automne from 1930 to World War II. During the war, he took refuge in the center of France and adopted a false identity. Many of his hammered lead sculptures were destroyed by the Nazis. After the war, he produced a candelabra representing a man with three legs and three arms. He called it the Candelabra of the Universe. He barely earned a living with his art and lived modestly. He died in Boulogne-Billancourt (France) in 1965
Nieszawer & Princ
"Artistes juifs de l’Ecole de Paris 1905-1939"
Editons Somogy 2015