Jean Charlot studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris before serving in the French Army during World War I. His mother, with her French, Mexican and Jewish lineage, introduced him to Mexico in 1920, where he sketched for archeologists excavating Mayan ruins. He became enthused with his Mexican heritage, as evident in a series of mural paintings in Mexico City assisting Diego Rivera and other members of the Syndicate of Painters and Sculptors. Charlot is credited by Rivera for reviving and refining the fresco technique that he used. After working from 1929 with lithography printer George Miller in New York, Charlot began a lifetime collaboration in 1933 with Lynton R. Kistler, master lithography printer in Los Angeles, reputedly making the first stone-drawn color lithographs in the United States.