ROSENBERG, ISAAC (1890-1918, poet and painter)
Lot 188
ROSENBERG, ISAAC (1890-1918, poet and painter)
Sold for £1,800 (US$ 2,915) inc. premium

Lot Details
ROSENBERG, ISAAC (1890-1918, poet and painter)
PORTRAIT BY HIS FELLOW 'WHITECHAPEL BOY', CLARA BIRNBERG (1894–1989), pencil, head, inscribed 'I Rosenberg' and signed 'CB 1915' in pencil and subsequently signed 'C Winsten' in green ink, framed and glazed, size of image aperture 11½ x 7¾ inches (29 x 20 cm), overall size 20 x 15 inches (51 x 38 cm), 1915

Footnotes

  • A FINELY DRAWN CONTEMPORARY PORTRAIT OF ROSENBERG. Portraits of Rosenberg, other than by himself (not common), are rare. The present portrait is taken from a similar angle to one of his best self-portraits (1910) which is in the Tate, though in that one he is looking towards the viewer. The present portrait made in 1915 is the last of three drawings by Birnberg of Rosenberg. The other two, drawn in 1913 and 1914, are in the British Museum and the Strang Room, University College London. All three were included in the Ben Uri Gallery exhibition, Whitechapel at War: Isaac Rosenberg and his Circle in the spring of 2008.

    Clara Birnberg was an Anglo-Jewish artist, illustrator, portraitist and sculptor. After her marriage to the artist and poet Stephen Weinstein, they changed their surname to Winsten (with her becoming Clare Winsten) and both became Quaker humanists. Studying at the Slade between 1910 and 1912 with Isaac Rosenberg and David Bomberg, she soon became the only female member of their 'The Whitechapel Boys' circle of artists and poets, and was the only female exhibitor at the 1914 post-impressionist exhibition 'Twentieth Century Art: A Review of Modern Movements' at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in which this circle played a major part. Among her sculptures are one in Toynbee Hall in Whitechapel, and one of St Joan in the garden of George Bernard Shaw's house in Hertfordshire, where Shaw and the Winstens were neighbours (Stephen already had connections with Shaw). Clare illustrated Shaw's Buoyant Billions: A Comedy of No Manners in Prose (1949), and the posthumously published My Dear Dorothea: A practical system of Moral education for females Embodied in a letter to a young person of that sex (1956), written when he was 21. She also produced a bronze sculpture and made drawings of him as well as drawings of Shostakovich, Britten and Gandhi.
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