Nathan Rapoport was born into an orthodox family. He studied the Torah. When his father fell ill, he left the heder and worked in order to provide for his family. In 1927, Rapoport studied sculpture at the local art school. In 1936, he received a scholarship that allowed him to study in France and in Italy. That same year, he was awarded the first prize of an artistic contest for his sculpture The Tennis Player. However, he refused to exhibit it in Nazi Germany and was disqualified from the contest.
In 1938, Rapoport was awarded another scholarship to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. When the Nazi army invaded Poland in 1939, he escaped to the Soviet Union. The Soviets first provided him with a studio but later forced him to work as a worker. After the war, he returned to Warsaw, where he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts. He lost his entire family during the war and dedicated his work to commemorating the Holocaust.
In 1949, he moved to Israel. Ten years later, he emigrated to the United States and settled in New York. He traveled frequently between Israel and the United States. He died in New York and was buried in Petah Tikva, Israel.
Nieszawer & Princ
"Artistes juifs de l’Ecole de Paris 1905-1939"
Editons Somogy 2015