Sunday, 16 August 2009

Isidor Kaufmann (1853-1921)

"Portrait of a boy"

Isidor Kaufmann, born in the trade center of the Austro Hungarian monarchy, Arad, moved to Vienna in 1876 to facilitate his artistic studies. Having been turned down by the Academy of Fine Arts there he entered the school of portrait painter Joseph Matthäus Aigner. He was swiftly recognised as a portrait and genre painter of no little talent, but it would be several years before Kaufmann found his true calling in art.

"Portrait of a Rabbi"

It was in 1894 that Kaufmann made the first of many forays into the shtetls of Eastern Europe to record the culture of traditional Jews, the artist having been drawn to the places where "Jewish life and Jewish feelings vibrate more strongly." It was the growing importance of religion in Kaufmann's life during the 1890's that shaped his best paintings. Travelling widely - Moravia, Upper Hungary, Poland, Ukraine - he captured his subjects first hand in their own environment before returning to his Vienna studio where he worked from sketches to produce his magnificent oil on mahogany portraits. Not content working from memory, the backgrounds and devotional objects in his paintings were painstakingly rendered from life in the rooms of the Old Jewish Museum in Vienna.

Kaufmann was driven by his own faith to move beyond the limited genre scenes of his early career and elevate his subjects in the impassioned, unsentimental portraits he produced in the late 19th century. According to Richard Cohen, Kaufmann was "involved in uncovering the inner spirit of the Eastern European Jews on their daily life and pursuits. While evoking both intensity of feeling and devotion, Kaufmann's paintings also show a perceptive appreciation of the human side to ghetto life, portrayed with concern for detail and emotion. Kaufmann addressed themes of everyday life, redolent with compassion and devotion" (Jewish Icons, University of California Press, 1998, p. 173)

- Article on Kaufmann


"Child with lulav"

"Portrait of a Rabbi with a fur hat"

"Portrait of a young boy with Peyot"

"Portrait of a Yeshiva boy"

"Portrait of a Rabbi wearing a Kittel and Tallith"

"Rabbi with prayer shawl"

"Young Rabbi from N" (Tate Gallery, London)

"Girl with flowers in her hair"

Friday, 14 August 2009

Joseph Stella (1877-1946)

"The Virgin" 1926. Brooklyn Museum.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Agda Holst (1886-1976)

"Self portrait" 1925

This image doesn't get any bigger - if anyone knows of a bigger version or large images of any of Holst's other figurative works please let me know! A couple of her works can be seen here. She looks like an interesting painter...

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Tora Vega Holmström (1880-1967)

"Strangers" 1913

"Figure composition" 1916

"Self portrait"


"Maria Blanchard"

Monday, 3 August 2009

Adrien Hébert (1890-1967)

"Le port de Montréal" 1924


"Montréal Harbour" 1927

"Port de Montréal"

"View of Notre-Dame Street and St-Claude Street, Montréal"

"Loading coal" 1927

"À l'intérieur de mon atelier" 1938