was a French artist, painter, engraver, and sculptor. His proper legal name is Tobias Eidesas. Born in 1927 in Jaffa in Israel, then Mandatory Palestine, he died on November 3rd 2012 in Cagnes-sur-Mer, where his parents had been living since 1925, far from the threat of pogroms and political upheaval in Eastern Europe. The family started to have financial difficulties and decided to return to Lithuania, then finally left for Paris in 1931 where his father, a typographer, found work at a Russian printer’s.
At a very young age Théo Tobiasse demonstrated the ability to draw and paint, and during a visit to the Universal Exhibition in 1937 in Paris, he was amazed by Raoul Dufy’s “La Fée Electrique”.
The death of his mother in June 1939 followed by the outbreak of WW II, Paris under German occupation, having to wear the Jewish star and the refusal by the Ecole nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs to register him on racial grounds had a shattering effect on his life. He put his name down to study advertising design at a private school on the boulevard Saint-Michel, which he gave up nine months later because his family, who had only just managed to escape the roundup of Jews at the Vélodrome d’Hiver in July 1942, had to hide in a Parisian flat for two years.
After the Liberation of Paris he rapidly began a career as a graphic designer in advertising at Draeger’s, the art printers. He also made tapestry cartoons and theatre scenery, and created the window dressings for Hermès in rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré. In 1950 he obtained French nationality and settled in Nice in the Maritime Alps where he continued with this career.