Lipchitz was born in Lithuania and moved to Paris in 1909 to study art. He met Picasso in 1913 and soon adopted the simplified geometric style of Picasso's paintings in his own sculpture. Lipchitz subsequently became the leading exponent of cubist sculpture. By 1915 his work had developed into almost abstract architectural forms but from around 1917 he began to reintroduce figurative references. In 1941 Lipchitz emigrated to the United States. The last ten years of his life were divided between Italy and America, but he was buried in Israel, which he regarded as his spiritual home.