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(Isayevich)

(b Vinnitsa, Ukraine, Dec 22, 1889; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], Dec 12, 1970).

Russian painter, graphic artist, sculptor and designer of Ukrainian birth. He studied painting at the School of Art in Odessa (1901–7) under Kiriak Kostandi (1852–1921), at the same time attending classes in sculpture. In 1908–9 he made a series of pointillist paintings. He visited Vienna and Munich in 1910 before going to Paris, where he worked at Vasil’yeva’s Free Russian Academy until 1912, producing paintings on Jewish themes and studying Cubism. In 1912 he went to St Petersburg, where he painted a number of Cubist portraits, for example of the poet Anna Akhmatova (1914; St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.). His Cubist work makes much use of faceting and transparent planes. From 1918 to 1921 he taught at the Department of Visual Arts (IZO) of Narkompros in Petrograd, but he was criticized for his attempts to identify Futurism with the art of the proletariat. Al’tman became well known as the designer of post-Revolutionary mass parades and monuments, for example the celebration of the first anniversary of the Revolution on ...

Article

Sarit Shalev-Eyni

Thirteenth-century Ashkenazi illuminated Bible (Milan, Ambrosiana, MSS. B.30–32 INF). One of the earliest illuminated Hebrew manuscripts originating in Germany, it is a giant manuscript in three volumes, containing the twenty-four books of the Hebrew Bible. As attested by a colophon at the end of the first volume, the Bible was commissioned by Joseph ben Moses from Ulmana, possibly referring to Ulm in Swabia or to Nieder-Olm in the Rhineland. The Bible was copied by Jacob ben Samuel and was massorated and vocalized by Joseph ben Kalonymus in collaboration with another masorete. The first part was completed between 1236 and 1238. The three volumes were illuminated by two artists, whose style is related to the 13th-century school of Würzburg. Illustrations with biblical scenes are located mainly within the initial word panels of the various biblical books, or at their end. Some of the illustrations carry a messianic or eschatological meaning. A broad cosmological composition occupies an opening at the end of the third volume, suggesting an impressive climax for the entire Bible. The full page miniature on the right illustrates the seven heavens, accompanied by the four animals of Ezekiel’s vision and the luminaries (fol. 135...

Article

[Bronstein, Max]

(b Tuchów, Poland, July 13, 1896; d Jerusalem, June 18, 1992).

Israeli painter of Polish birth. As a young boy he greatly admired El Greco, Goya and Rembrandt. From 1920 to 1925 he studied at the Bauhaus, Weimar, under Klee, Kandinsky, Johannes Itten and Lyonel Feininger and the following year studied painting techniques at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Munich under Max Doerner. During the 1920s he changed his name from Max Bronstein to Mordecai Ardon. He taught at the Kunstschule Itten in Berlin from 1929 to 1933, when Nazi persecution forced him to flee to Jerusalem. Though he had been an active Communist in Germany, in Jerusalem he soon found a great affinity with Jewish religion and culture. In 1935 he was made a professor at the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem, and was its Director from 1940 to 1952.

Ardon’s early paintings show the influence of Expressionism, as in Seated Woman in a Straw Chair...

Article

Susan Compton

[Shagal, Mark (Zakharovich); Shagal, Moses]

(b Vitebsk [now Viciebsk], Belarus’, July 7, 1887; d Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Alpes-Maritimes, March 28, 1985).

French painter, draughtsman, printmaker, designer, sculptor, ceramicist, and writer of Belarusian birth. A prolific artist, Chagall excelled in the European tradition of subject painting and distinguished himself as an expressive colourist. His work is noted for its consistent use of folkloric imagery and its sweetness of colour, and it is characterized by a style that, although developed in the years before World War I, underwent little progression throughout his long career (see.g. I and the Village, 1911; New York, MOMA). Though he preferred to be known as a Belarusian artist, following his exile from the Soviet Union in 1923 he was recognized as a major figure of the Ecole de Paris, especially in the later 1920s and the 1930s. In his last years he was regarded as a leading artist in stained glass.

Chagall spent his childhood, admirably recorded in his autobiography, in a warm Hassidic family in Vitebsk [now Viciebsk], with frequent visits to his grandfather’s village home. He attended the traditional Jewish school but afterwards succeeded in entering the local Russian high school, where he excelled in geometry and drawing and determined to become an artist. At first he studied locally in the studio of ...

Article

Ronald Alley

Term applied to the loose affiliation of artists working in Paris from the 1920s to the 1950s. It was first used by the critic André Warnod in Comoedia in the early 1920s as a way of referring to the non-French artists who had settled and worked in Paris for some years, many of whom lived either in Montmartre or Montparnasse, and who included a number of artists of Eastern European or Jewish origin.

From c. 1900 a number of major artists had been attracted to the capital because of its reputation as the most vital international centre for painting and sculpture; these included Picasso, Gris and Miró from Spain, Chagall, Soutine and Lipchitz from Russia or Lithuania, Brancusi from Romania and Modigliani from Italy. The prominence of Jewish artists in Paris and of foreign artistic influences in general began by c. 1925 to cause intense resentment and led to the foreigners being labelled as ‘Ecole de Paris’ in contrast to French-born artists such as ...

Article

Katrin Kogman-Appel

Richly illuminated manuscript of the Passover liturgy together with a series of liturgical poems to be read during the Passover week (London, BL, Add. MS. 27210), possibly made in Barcelona, c. 1320. This text was to be recited during the seder ceremony at the eve of the Passover holiday. Like most medieval Haggadot (see Haggadah), the Golden Haggadah has no colophon, and its scribe and patrons are unknown. It contains both marginal decorations and a series of full-page miniatures preceding the text and displaying a fully fledged cycle of biblical illustrations following the books of Genesis and Exodus from the Creation of Man to the Crossing of the Red Sea. Stylistically both types of decoration are indebted to early 14th-century Catalan Gothic art.

Similarly, the imagery of the biblical picture cycle also draws on Christian Old Testament iconography and reflects a familiarity with Christian art. The artists and patrons of the Golden Haggadah adopted Christian pictorial sources in a complex process of adaptation and modification, translating the Christian models into a Jewish visual language meaningful in its messages to the Jewish readership. Avoiding themes and iconographic features of a particular Christological concern, the imagery also reflects a close affinity with the traditions of late antique Bible interpretation (Midrash). This points to a specific circle of scholars active in Iberia during the 13th and early 14th centuries as being responsible for the imagery of the cycle. The use of traditional midrashic Bible exegesis is typical for Sephardic Rabbis of anti-rationalist standing, who opposed earlier philosophical trends and followed, rather, scholarly trends common among the Tosafists of northern France. It has also been observed that some images adopt a more specific anti-Christian stance and address polemical issues....

Article

Wanda Małaszewska

[Moritz] (Moses)

(b Drohobycz, Galicia, 21/Feb 28, 1856; d Kraków, July 17, 1879).

Polish painter. He was the elder brother of the painters Filip Gottlieb (b c. 1870), Marceli Gottlieb, Marcin Gottlieb (1867–1936) and Leopold Gottlieb (1879/83–1934). He came from a wealthy, orthodox Jewish family and his artistic talent manifested itself very early in his life. From 1869 he studied drawing with Michał Goldewski the elder (1799–1875), an amateur painter in Lwów (now Lviv, Ukraine). In October 1871 he travelled to Vienna, where in 1872 he studied under Karl Mayer (1810–76), and subsequently under Karl von Blaas at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste. In 1873–4 he studied with Jan Matejko at the School of Fine Arts, Kraków, but soon returned to Vienna to study historical composition under Carl Wurzinger (1817–83). He painted a number of works in Kraków, partly completing them in Vienna in 1875. These include a Self-portrait in the magnificent costume of a Polish nobleman (ex–J. Felsen priv. col., Vienna, see Rogoyska, p. 5) as well as unsuccessful historical compositions, for example the ...

Article

Alison Inglis

(b Plymouth, April 1806; d London, June 11, 1881).

English painter. His father, Samuel Hart, was a pupil of Abraham Daniel (d 1806), an engraver, miniature painter and jeweller. Hart moved to London c. 1820. His family could not afford to apprentice him to the line engraver Charles Warren, but in 1823 he entered the Royal Academy Schools. While studying there he painted miniatures and coloured theatrical prints for a living, exhibiting his first picture, a miniature, in 1826. In 1830 his Interior of a Jewish Synagogue at the Time of the Reading of the Law (1830; London, Tate) was purchased by the collector Robert Vernon. Not wishing to become a ‘painter of merely religious ceremonies’, Hart began to execute historical subjects, often taken from Shakespeare or, as with Richard Coeur de Lion and the Soldan Saladin (1835; Liverpool, Walker A.G.), from Walter Scott’s novels. In 1835 he was elected ARA and in 1840 he became the first Jewish RA....

Article

David M. Sokol

(b Russian Poland, April 10, 1872; d New York, July 26, 1946).

American painter of Russian-Polish origin. He claimed to have carved wooden ceremonial objects as a young boy, but ceased to create until he retired from his clothing manufacturing concern and began to paint. When Sidney Janis was arranging an exhibition of American folk art for the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York, in 1939, he saw Hirshfield’s naive works in a gallery in New York. He exhibited two in the show and organized a one-man show for the artist in 1943; he also purchased two works, including Beach Girl (1937; New York, MOMA). In such paintings Hirshfield based large areas of the overall design on the fabrics with which he worked during his years in business, and his outlined forms on the art of patternmaking. In this and slightly later works, such as Inseparable Friends (1941; New York, MOMA), an ambiguous treatment of young female sexuality is played off against the patterns and the repetition of forms....

Article

Katalin Gellér

[Lipót]

(b Kassa [now Košice, Slovak Republic], Feb 2, 1838; d Vienna, Nov 16, 1917).

Hungarian painter. After attending drawing classes in Kassa, he continued his studies at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna. In 1860 he won a scholarship, enabling him to travel to Paris, where he settled, painting mostly portraits and genre pictures. In 1868 he moved to Warsaw, where he completed the biblical composition Anniversary of the Destruction of Jerusalem and painted a series of portraits of Polish and Russian aristocrats. Horovitz had his greatest success with his portraits, for which he was internationally renowned. Like Fülöp Elek László, and several other Hungarian portrait painters, Horovitz was able to travel widely in order to carry out portrait commissions. Between 1901 and 1906 he painted Emperor Francis Joseph five times. He also painted a number of leading figures in Hungarian political, scientific and literary circles, for example Ferenc Pulszky (1890; Budapest, N.G.).

Ö. Gerő: Müvészetről, müvészekről [On art and artists] (Budapest, n.d.), pp. 232–40...

Article

Katrin Kogman-Appel

[Mahzor]

Illuminated Hebrew Machzor (Leipzig, Ubib., MS. Voller 1002/I–II)—prayer book for holy days—made c. 1310–20. Its two volumes contain the optional liturgical poems commonly recited according to the Ashkenazi rites. The text reflects the specific prayer rite of Worms and, even though this assumption cannot be confirmed by a colophon, it must have served this particular community up to the early 17th century when it was transferred to Poland.

Both volumes are richly illustrated in a style that recalls upper Rhenish schools of illumination and may have been decorated by artists trained in that region. At least two different hands, one of them most probably Christian, were involved in the layout of the book. The decorative programme includes elaborate initial panels and marginal images. The former display complex allegorical and symbolic compositions relating to the poems or the subject matter of the holy days. An example is the juxtaposition of various symbols related to the New Year showing a man with a Jewish hat blowing a ...

Article

M. A. Mazón de la Torre

[Chabacier, José]

(b Calatayud, 1601; d Saragossa, before Sept 1653).

Spanish painter. He was of Jewish ancestry and was baptized in the parish church of S Andrés, Calatayud, on 21 March 1601. Jusepe was the only child of Domingo Chabacier and Juana de Solimon; the surname Leonardo came from his paternal family. His mother died in 1611, his father remarried three months later, and Leonardo moved to Madrid in 1612. His initial training was probably under Vicente Carducho, but from 1616 until 1621 he studied under Pedro de las Cuevas. In February 1621 he married María de Cuellar, the widow of the painter Francisco del Moral (d 1615).

Leonardo’s earliest known works, two paintings of the Annunciation (Toledo, parish church of Casarrubios del Monte, and Silos, S Domingo, Sacristy), both dated between 1621 and 1625, show the influence of Eugenio Cajés, with whom he had probably collaborated on a previous occasion. In six large paintings for the high altar of the church of Santiago, Cebreros, Ávila, a ...

Article

Russian, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 27 September 1939, in Leningrad, Soviet Union (now St Petersburg, Russia).

Sculptor.

From 1954 until 1957, Alexander Ney studied at the Secondary Art School of the Ilya Repin Institute for Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture in Leningrad. While he was trained in the official style of Socialist Realism, Ney resisted this restriction, developing alternative artistic practices. When continuing his studies at the Art School of the Surikov Institute in Moscow in ...

Article

Katrin Kogman-Appel

Illuminated manuscript of the Passover liturgy to be recited during the seder ceremony at the eve of the Passover holiday, also containing a series of liturgical poems to be read during the Passover week (Sarajevo, N. Mus of Bosnia and Herzegovina.), possibly made in Aragon, c. 1335. Its particularly rich decoration combines French-style marginal scroll decoration with a cycle of full-page miniatures showing biblical history. The latter opens with a visual rendering of the Creation, a theme rarely shown in Jewish art, and follows the story of the Israelites up to the passage through the desert after the Exodus from Egypt.

Like other Sephardic biblical picture cycles, the one in the Sarajevo Haggadah is indebted to Christian pictorial sources, especially of French origin, adapted to suit a Jewish patronage and readership. Jewish biblical exegesis plays a crucial role in the transmission of Christian iconographic formulae to a Jewish idiom. The Creation sequence, for example, reflects Nahmanides’ views of the Creation from Nothing opposing allegorical views about the eternal world held by rationalist philosophers. Likewise midrashic interpretation is dominant in the Sarajevo cycle, where midrashic elements were added to what were really Christian iconographic models....

Article

Michael Turner

[Shlomo Zalman Dov]

(b Vrno, Lithuania ?1866; d Denver, CO, March 22, 1932).

Lithuanian sculptor and painter, active in Palestine. Born into a poor, orthodox Jewish family, he attended rabbinical school in Vilna (now Vilnius; 1882–7). During this period he studied art at the local academy and, affected by the anti-Semitism of the period, developed left-wing political interests and the connections to an emancipated Jewish art form. His personal history generated three distinct artistic periods: the early activities in Paris (until 1895), the Bulgarian period (until 1903) and the later Jewish period in Palestine. His first known oil painting, the Dying Will (c. 1886; priv. col., see 1933 exh. cat., no. M16), was typical of late 19th-century romanticism. In 1888 he moved to Warsaw, working intensely on sculptures, reliefs and lithographs. His concept of art for a Jewish national agenda and propaganda was published that year as an article ‘Craftsmanship’ in the Hebrew newspaper Hazfira, forming the basis for his later works. After his marriage (...