Maurice Minkowski (Polish/Israeli, 1881-1930) Jewish woman praying together in the original frame
Lot 27
Maurice Minkowski
(Polish/Israeli, 1881-1930)
Jewish woman praying together in the original frame
Sold for £ 22,500 (US$ 29,610) inc. premium

Lot Details
Maurice Minkowski (Polish/Israeli, 1881-1930)
Jewish woman praying
signed in Hebrew (lower right)
oil on canvas
98 x 99.5cm (38 9/16 x 39 3/16in).
together in the original frame

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    A private collection, Switzerland

    Born in 1888, Maurice Minkowski achieved recognition by chronicling Polish Jewish life during the last years of Czarist domination. Minkowski studied at the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts between 1900 and 1904 under the tutelage of three of Poland's most distinguished artists: Ian Stanislwski, Leon Wyczolkowski and Jozef Mehoffer. He devoted his career to documenting the plight of the Eastern European Jew subjected to the injustices of war and pogroms.

    A recurring theme in his work is the Jew as the refugee, dislocated from his home as a result of the political and social upheaval of the time. Minkowski skilfully caught the mood of the people; their lack of hope and dim realisation of an unknown future. Richard Cohen noted 'often the facial expressions of these wondering Jews do not express anger or struggle but a gloominess that is tempered with a resignation to the victimisation'. Their suffering is tinged with calmness, a quiet surrender, perhaps mirroring Minkowski's personal physical barriers as deaf mute.

    Works by Minkowski are in several international museums housing important Jewish art, notably the Jewish Museum in New York and the Tel Aviv and Israel Museums. The largest extant collection of his paintings belongs to the Foundation IWO in Argentina, which miraculously survived the July 1994 terrorist bombing of the Association Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) building in which they were housed.

    In 1930, Minkowski was in Buenos Aires for an exhibition of his works at a local gallery. It was the first stop on a trip which included visits to Brazil, the United States, and Canada. Apparently he had planned, after returning to Poland, to eventually travel to Palestine. However, his life was tragically cut short when he died in a traffic accident.

    BIBLIOGRAPHY:
    R. Cohen, Jewish Icons, Art and Society in Modern Europe, (Los Angeles, 1998), p.245

Saleroom notices

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