He gave up studies in medicine and philosophy in order to devote himself to painting. He subsequently studied under the decorator, Victor Prouvé, and when he was 18 years old, he attended Naudin's atelier in Paris.
After World War I he traveled extensively, making several trips to the United States. He was attracted by the Surrealist movement and became associated with the Oneirist group. Lurçat's first tapestry, Les Filles vertes, was designed in 1916. Insisting on the independent and creative nature of the tapestry medium, he led a movement to stop the production of patterns slavishly imitated from other media.
On 15 December, Lurçat married Marthe Hennebert. In 1931 he married Rosane Timotheef. Later he married Simone Selves.