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JEAN LAMBERT-RUCKI (1888-1977)

Born in 1888, the youngest of a large family, Jean Lambert-Rucki will be the prodigy child. He is eleven years old when his father suddenly dies. He helps his family to live by making portraits that surprise the citizens of Krakow. His youth is marked by the richness of the folklore of Central Europe, he makes frequent trips to Russia where he frequents gypsies and his work remains impregnated.

Enthusiastic about an exhibition of Gauguin's works in Krakow, he decided to come to Paris in 1911 with 17 francs as single fortune. He immediately makes the happy and providential meeting of a Polish friend who hosts him. Solitary, he will remain so all his life, fleeing the world with his demands and his vanities. Its purpose will be this incessant need to create and to make "new".

In 1914, by joining the French army, in the Foreign Volunteer Battalion to serve France, he francised his name: Jean-Lambert is his first name, he chose the surname of Jean Lambert-Rucki. For the duration of the hostilities, he was assigned to the "Archaeological Service of Salonica" where he carried out excavations. Thus he participated in the creation of a Museum of Archeology in Athens and made copies of mosaics for the Louvre Museum.

In 1923, he became friends with the coppersmith Jean Dunand for which he worked for twenty years. He will refuse the proposal of Jean Dunand to affix their double signature on the works that he realizes on the pretext that it is not his creation since it concerns orders.

The Chinese lacquer has no secret for him and one easily recognizes the Ruckian style especially in the screens, portraits, cigarette boxes, jewels, various precious objects, vases etc.