Reclaiming Biblical Heroines by Monika Czekanowska-Gutman
Portrayals of Judith, Esther and the Shulamite in Early Twentieth-Century Jewish Art
Although recently more studies have been devoted to the representations of Biblical heroines in modern European art, less is known about the contribution to the portrayals of Biblical women by modern Jewish artists. This monograph explores why and how heroines of the Scripture: Judith, Esther and the Shulamite received a particular meaning for acculturated Jewish artists originating from the Polish lands in the last decades of the nineteenth century and the first two decades of the twentieth century. It convincingly proves that artworks by Maurycy Gottlieb, Wilhem Wachtel, Ephraim Moses Lilien, Maurycy Minkowski, Samuel Hirszenberg and Boris Schatz significantly differed from renderings of contemporary non-Jewish artists, adopting a “Jewish perspective”, creating complex and psychological portrayals of the heroines inspired by Jewish literature and as well as by historical and cultural phenomena of Jewish revival and the cultural Zionism movement.
Year first published: 2022
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