Marek Abraham Rudnicki (25.01.1927–14.09.2004)

graphic artist, book illustrator, caricaturist

He was born on January 25, 1927 in an assimilated Jewish family; his father Stanisław was a doctor, and his mother – Cipora de Grovie – came from France. He grew up in Łódź, where he attended the secular Hebrew high school of doctor Braude. In 1940, he was relocated to the Warsaw ghetto, where he cooperated with Janusz Korczak. During the so-called Great Action, on August 8, 1942, he lost his parents and brother. He managed to get to the “Aryan” side thanks to the help of the Home Army. During the occupation, he studied architecture at the secret classes of the Warsaw University of Technology. He was active in the Council to Aid Jews “Żegota” and the resistance movement in Kedywo in Warsaw, fought during the Warsaw Uprising in the Baszta Regiment Group under the pseudonym “Czart”. After the end of the war, he continued his architectural studies in Krakow and Warsaw. In 1948, he started two artistic collaborations: as a cartoonist in the “Odrodzenie” weekly magazine and as a book illustrator for the “Czytelnik Publishing” Cooperative. In the years 1949-1957 he was the artistic director of the State Publishing Institute.

In 1957 he emigrated to France, where, thanks to the help of his friend Jean Picard Le Doux, he started working as a graphic designer for Helena Rubinstein. Soon after, in 1959, at the request of Hubert Beuve-Méry, he became the official portraitist of the members of the French Academy, and his works were published in Le Monde. After 32 years of working for this journal, the French National Library organized an exhibition of his works from 1959-1991. He illustrated editions of works by, among others Pushkin, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Camus, Maurois, Cesbron for Editions Bibliophile, and for Cabinet Cosmopolite by the Stock publishing house – the Singer brothers. In 1980, together with Eugen Ionesco, he founded the Comité des Intellectuels pour l’Europe des Libertés. He is the protagonist of the documentary “I’ve seen it …” (1993) directed by Ewa Lachnit. Honored with the French Order of the Knight of Arts and Letters, the Cross of Merit, the Silver Medal of the City of Paris, the Home Army Cross and the Polonia Restituta Knight’s Cross. He died on September 14, 2004 in Paris.