The Western Wall signed, inscribed and dated 'L. Blum Jerusalem 35' (lower left); further signed, inscribed and dated in Hebrew (lower right) oil on canvas 50 x 61cm (19 11/16 x 24in).
Known as 'The Painter of Jerusalem', Ludwig Blum's views of the city are some of the most important paintings of the Holy Land in the 20th century. Blum had immigrated to Palestine from the Czech Republic in 1923 and set about portraying his adopted homeland in works that are at once vast and intimate. Blum did not set out to monumentalise his subjects, but rather worked in the most modern fashion to capture the details and essence of everyday life.
In the present work, Blum paints one of the world's most important holy sites with a certain familiarity. The tight focus on the wall and the figures leads the viewer into the scene in a manner associated with Caillebotte, commanding the viewer to hold focus, rather than allowing the eye to wander to the surrounds. The result is a feeling almost of stepping into the painting and experiencing the wonder of Jerusalem firsthand.