Painter, draughtsman, printmaker, designer, and writer on art, Avigdor Arikha was born to German Jewish parents in Rădăuţi, Romania on 28 April 1929. During the Second World War he was held for three years in a Nazi labour camp until his drawings of deportation scenes came to the attention of the Red Cross and he was helped to immigrate to Mandate Palestine with his sister. Upon arrival in 1944, he lived in a kibbutz near Jerusalem and studied at the Bezalel School of Art. In 1949 he won a scholarship to the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he studied until 1951, residing permanently in Paris from 1954 onwards. He worked first as a book illustrator, then from 1957 to 1965, was primarily associated with the abstract, gestural style known as Art Informel. Between 1965 and 1973 he concentrated on drawing and etching; among his best-known works are his portraits of his close friend the writer Samuel Beckett. In later life he painted portraits, landscapes, interiors and still-lifes. Avigdor Arikha died in Paris, France on 29 April 2010. His work is in UK Collections including the National Portrait Gallery, London; the National Galleries of Scotland (the National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, holds his portrait of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother); and Tate.