Painting a People: Maurycy Gottlieb and Jewish Art

Front Cover
UPNE, 2002 - Art - 279 pages

Maurycy Gottlieb was born in 1856 in the small city known in Polish as Drohobycz, then attached to the province of Galicia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In the course of his very short life (he died at age 23), Gottlieb painted dozens of extraordinary works that have since found homes in museums in eastern Europe. (where he has long been honored as a Polish artist) and in Israel, where, following a major exhibition in 1991 in Tel-Aviv, he achieved the status of a founding father of Jewish art. The subjects of his paintings range from self-portraits and portraits of family and friends to "orientalist" themes, historical topics, and biblical scenes, including two important representations of Jesus.

Ezra Mendelsohn situates this impressive body of work in the context of contemporary European painting, and uses Gottlieb's work to illuminate the sociopolitical and cultural complexity of the multi-ethnic and multi-religious Austro-Hungarian Empire prior to World War I. Interpreting the paintings, and their reception in Gottlieb's day and beyond, Mendelsohn touches on a number of key issues in modern Jewish history, among them identity, assimilation, acculturation, nationalism, the relationship between Jewry and European culture, and relations between Jews and non-Jews, particularly between Poles and Jews.

Mendelsohn notes that Gottlieb "was an ideal subject for a historian of modern Jewish Eastern Europe with an interest in the visual dimension of Jewish culture." Since the artist's death in 1879, Polish nationalists, Jewish integrationists, Jewish nationalists, and finally the Israeli Jewish establishment, have laid claims to his art. Yet Mendelsohn shows that the subjects Gottlieb chose to paint--particularly the historical subjects--demonstrate that Gottlieb was first and foremost an artist of Jewish univeralism.

 

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Contents

Sites of Memory
1
Maurycy Gottlieb Street Jerusalem
4
Temple Synagogue Cracow
15
Choral Synagogue Drohobycz
21
Leopold Gottlieb The Artists Mother
23
Jan Matejko RejtanThe Fall of Poland
30
Color plates begin after page
42
Artistic Contexts
45
Franz von Lenbach Hermann Levi
110
Maurycy Gottlieb SelfPortrait Dressed as a Polish Nobleman m
111
Maurycy Gottlieb Ahasuerus
112
Maurycy Gottlieb SelfPortrait in a Hat
113
Wojciech Weiss SelfPortrait with Masks
114
Maurycy Gottlieb Portrait of the Artists Sister Anna
115
Maurycy Gottlieb Portrait of Laura HenschelRosenfeld the Artists Fiancee
116
Maurycy Gottlieb Portrait ofMoritz Wahrmann
117

Karl von Piloty Thusnelda in the Triumphal March of Germanicus
47
Leopold Carl Miiller Market in Cairo
50
Peter von Cornelius The Entombment of Christ
51
William Holman Hunt The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple
52
Mihaly Munkacsy Ecce Homo
53
JeanFrancois Millet LAngelus
54
Wilhelm Leibl Three Women in Church
55
Jan Matejko Skargas Sermon
58
Franciszek Zmurko The Nubian
60
Wilhelm Kotarbiriski The Resurrection of the Son of the Widow ofNain
61
Artur Grottger The People in Church
62
Tadeusz Ajdukiewicz Prayer in the Desert
63
Jan Matejko SelfPortrait
64
Jozef Israels Jewish Wedding
69
Wilhelm von Kaulbach The Destruction of Jerusalem by Titus
72
Nicolae Grigorescu Gypsy Woman from Ghergani
73
Maksimilian Gierymski Gypsy Camp
74
Bernardo Bellotto known as Canaletto Miodowa Street
75
Jozef Brandt Jews Travelling to Market Polish Peasants Carriage
76
Aleksander Gierymski A Jewess with Lemons
77
Antoni Kozakiewicz Jews Praying
78
Tadeusz Popiel Holiday of the Torah Simhat Torah
79
Michal Andriolli Jankiels Concert
80
Artur Grottger Jews
81
Maurycy Gottliebs Artistic Project
83
41 Maurycy Gottlieb The Knights of Livonia Asking King Zygmunt August for Protection against Emperor Ferdinand
85
Maurycy Gottlieb The Maccabees
86
Maurycy Gottlieb Slave Market in Cairo
87
Maurycy Gottlieb Lady Combed by Her Black Slave The Toilette
88
Maurycy Gottlieb Odalisque Gypsy or Shulamite
89
Synagogue in St Petersburg
90
Maurycy Gottlieb Joseph and Potiphars Wife
92
Maurycy Gottlieb Judith with the Head ofHolofernes
93
Maurycy Gottlieb Salomes Dance
94
Maurycy Gottlieb Portrait of a Woman
95
Maurycy Gottlieb Head of an Old Man
96
Maurycy Gottlieb SelfPortrait
104
Chaim Soutine Self Portrait
105
Eugene Delacroix Portrait of the Artist
106
Photograph of Maurycy Gottlieb at work
107
Maurycy Gottlieb SelfPortrait
108
Maurycy Gottlieb SelfPortrait in Arab Dress copy by Marcin Gottlieb
109
Maurycy Gottlieb The Expulsion of the Moors from Granada
119
Maurycy Gottlieb Uriel Da Costa and Judith Vanderstraten
123
Aleksander Gierymski Trial Scene from The Merchant of Venice
125
Maurycy Gottlieb Shylock and Jessica
126
Maurycy Gottlieb Recha Welcoming Her Father
128
Franciszek Zmurko Esterka and King Casimir
130
Gustave Dore Christ in the Synagogue
131
Maurycy Gottlieb Christ Before His Judges
133
Maurycy Gottlieb Christ Preaching at Capernaum
135
Rembrandt Christ Healing the Sick The Hundred Gilder Print
136
Maurycy Gottlieb Jewish Wedding
139
Maurycy Gottlieb Dancing Jews
140
Maurvcy Gottlieb Rabbis Blessing
141
Maurycy Gottlieb Torah Scribe
142
Maurycy Gottlieb Old Jews
143
Maurycy Gottlieb Portrait of a Young Jewish Woman
144
Maurycy Gottlieb Jewish Woman from the East
145
Maurycy Gottlieb Head of a Jewish Woman or Bride
146
Maurycy Gottlieb Jews Praying in the Synagogue on the Day of Atonement
147
Reception
150
Jozef Buchbinder Aleksander Gryglewski and Maurycy Gottlieb
159
Wladyslaw Dietrich Ceremony of the Unveiling of
169
Monument of Maurycy Gottlieb
177
Jigsaw puzzle of Maurycy Gottliebs Jews Praying in the Synagogue on the Day of Atonement
192
Last Things Gottlieb Matejko and Capernaum
196
Jan Matejko The Battle at Grunwald
197
Exhibition of Matejkos The Battle at Grunwald at the Viceroys Palace Warsaw
198
Wojciech Gerson The Reception of the Jews
203
Norman Rockwell The Golden Rule
209
Moritz Oppenheim Lavater and Lessing Visit Moses Mendelssohn
210
Demonstration in Warsaw in 1861
211
FIGURES
212
Leonid Pasternak Allegory of Mendelssohn Reviving the Reputation of Bach St Matthew Passion
213
Leopold Pilichowsky The Ceremony of the Opening of the Hebrew University Inauguration Day
214
11o Jakob Steinhardt Jacob and Esau
215
Marc Chagall Stained Glass Memorial
216
Moses Ezekiel Statue of Religious Liberty
217
Ben Shahn The Call of the Shofar
218
Raphael Soyer Amos on Racial Equality
220
Art Spiegelman Valentines Day
221
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About the author (2002)

EZRA MENDELSOHN teaches in the departments of Russian and East European Studies and Contemporary Jewry at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is author of four books on modern Jewish history, editor or coeditor of 12 additional books, and coeditor of Studies in Contemporary Jewry.

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