8 December 1902, Sagua La Grande, Cuba -
11 September 1982, Paris, France
Wifredo Lam was born of Afro-Chinese heritage in Cuba and became the country's most celebrated artist of the 20th century and the subject of a recent exhibition in Tate Modern, London. He was brought up as a Roman Catholic but he was also introduced at an early age to African superstitions and witchcraft through his godmother. He studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes from 1918 to 1928 but disliking the academic training he moved to Madrid before returning to Cuba in 1938. After the war he moved to Paris where he met Picasso and mixed among Surrealist and Cubist circles.
In 1972 Lam was invited to take part in the bi-annual AUREA exhibition for contemporary jewellery houses held in Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, for which he designed around a dozen unique jewels based his paintings with the collaboration of the jeweller Annamaria di Genaro, who also produced pieces for Luciano Minguzzi and Giuseppe Migneco.