Artist Leopold Gottlieb, best-known for his portraits and for works on biblical themes, was born into a Jewish family in Drohobycz, Ukraine, in 1883 (his older brother, the painter Maurycy Gottlieb, died before he was born). Leopold studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow, and in the studio of Anton Ažbe in Munich. In 1904 he settled in Paris, becoming a member of the Montparnasse Circle of artists and over the next four years he exhibited in group shows in cities including Cracow, Vienna, Berlin and Warsaw. In 1910, he moved to Jerusalem to teach at the Bezalel School of Art, but later returned to Paris where he showed with the Polish Expressionists (Formists) between 1917 and 1919, forming friendships with other Polish-Jewish artists including Moise Kisling and Eugene Zak, and attracting the attention of critics André Salmon and Adolf Basler. Gottlieb exhibited extensively at the Salon of Autumn, Independents, Société Nationale des Beaux Artes, and the Tuileries, as well as at the Vienna Secession, and in an exhibition of Polish art, organised in 1912 in Barcelona, Spain.

During the First World War Gottlieb joined the Polish Legions and documented army life; his ‘Exhibition of Polish Legions’ was held in Lublin, Poland in 1917. After the war, he lived in Poland, Vienna, and Germany, before returning to Paris in 1926; he exhibited at the Galerie aux Quatre Chemins (1927), d'Art de Montparnasse (1928), Bonaparte (1930), and Zak (1934). In 1929 he joined the Association of Polish Artists with whom he twice exhibited (1929 and 1930). Leopold Gottlieb died in Paris, France in 1934.