Helmut Kolle receives his first drawing instruction in Bern in 1906, under Martin Lauterburg and others. From 1914 to 1916 he travels to Munich, Freiburg and Berlin. In 1918 he moves to Frankfurt am Main. He receives painting instruction from Erna Pinner and enters into a friendship with Wilhelm Uhde. In 1920 he works on Uhde's journal 'Die Freude'. He adopts the pseudonym 'Helmut von Hügel (Latin 'collis' = 'Hügel' [hill]). From 1922 to 1924, he lives in Berlin before moving to Paris in 1924. In 1928 he moves in with Wilhelm Uhde in Chantilly.