Lucebert was born Lubertus Jacobus Swaanswijk on the 15th of September 1924 in the working-class quarter of “De Jordaan” in the heart of Amsterdam, Holland. When he was nearly two years old, his parents marriage broke up, leaving him and his two brothers to grow up in the custody of their father. At home Lubertus didn’t find a good family atmosphere so he spent the days making drawings and inventing stories. In 1936 he went to secondary school where two teachers noticed his emerging talents. They stimulated the young boy to read literature and keep drawing, a stimulation which he didn’t find among his family relatives. At school he met some good friends who shared his interest for culture, among them the later well-known poet Hans Andreus.
In 1939 he finished school and went on helping his father, who was a house painter. That circumstance gave him the opportunity to paint his fantasies on a larger format while they were preparing the walls which of course, always ended in one colour. One day a well-known journalist saw this and instantaneously recognised his talent. He arranged a meeting with the architect Mart Stam, who was the director of the “Kunstnijverheidsschool” (later the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam), and he admitted Lucebert (although in reality he was too young) to the school. His father was of the opinion that in the arts one couldn’t earn a living, and decided to retire Lucebert from the art school after four months. This caused a final rupture between father and son and from then on Lucebert went forward without stopping. Lucebert started drawing at a very young age and until the last days of his life he made several drawings with black Indian ink on a daily basis. We could say that drawing was the constant thread during his lifetime. Once he was able to buy oil paints and canvas, he started to paint with great dedication, aside from making aquarelles and gouaches. In the fifties he bought a camera and started to photograph, which he kept doing until the eighties. His photos are kept in the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam. During his life, Lucebert made several murals – as an example, you can see a mural in the Letterkundig Museum in The Hague. Graphical techniques captured his interest at the beginning of the sixties when he explored etching, lithography and silk-screening. Etchings were, in his opinion, the most surprising technique, which he made until 1994. In his final years, Lucebert created ceramics during his stays in Berlin and several hundred unique specimens are the result of it.
Lucebert empezó a dibujar muy joven y hasta los últimas dias de su vida, hizo diariamente algunos dibujos con tinta china. Podemos decir que dibujar era una línea constante durante su trayectoria. Cuando le llegó la oportunidad de comprar óleo y tela, empezó a pintar con gran dedicación, además de hacer acuarelas y guaches. En los años cincuenta compró una cámara e hizo fotografías, hasta los años ochenta. Sus fotos están guardadas en el Nederlands Fotomuseum en Rotterdam. Durante su vida hizo algunos murales y, por ejemplo, se puede ver un mural en el Letterkundig Museum en La Haya. En los principios de los años sesenta, las técnicas gráficas despertaban su interés, lo que llevó a explorar grabados, litografía y seriagrafía. Aguafuertes fueron, en su opinión, la técnica más sorprendente, que hizo hasta 1994. En los últimos años creó céramica durante su estancia en Berlin. De hecho, cientos de ellas quedan y siguen siendo únicas.