If you have ever visited the beautiful city of Jerusalem, you know that it is a stunning place to live and to view. Even if you haven’t been, there is a multitude of artists who have captured her beauty through the visual arts. Menucha Page is the very latest word in Torah and Judaic-influenced art, but there are very many others in the history of contemporary art during the past 150 years who have done amazing work incorporating Jewish themes into modern artwork. Below are a few of the iconic artists who have celebrated Jerusalem throughout their lives.
Ben Avram was born in Jerusalem and chose to become a painter; it seems fitting that he draws inspiration from his home. His painting features biblical themes such as the balance of man and nature, and he chooses to use a variety of colors to make his art shine. Popular paintings of his include Gate of Jerusalem and Jerusalem View. (1)
Yaacov Agam is an Israeli sculptor and artist best known for his considerable contributions to optical and kinetic art. His art can be experimental at times and leave viewers up to their own interpretation behind the meaning of his pieces. Among his most popular pieces, he completed in 1972 is called the Bleu Movement and features an abstract series of bars and knobs. (3) He is also well known for designing a work incorporating the iconic Menorah for Chabad-Lubavitch.
Arthur Szyk was a political activist as well as a painter and lived through World War II. He single-handedly produced hundreds of paintings and illustrations that were used by the Allied powers to fight the Axis powers. In his illustrated work entitled Haggadah, Szyk reflected his Jewish heritage and the hostility facing his Jewish brothers and sisters under the hand of Nazi Germany. (5)
Artist Archie Rand is one of the most well-respected Jewish artists of the contemporary period. In 2015, he published a book entitled simply The 613, which depicts in full-color every mitzvah. What is so striking about his work is that each of the pages of his book contains full-size panels of each sin, in such detail and color that the reader cannot ignore the signs. Rand’s use of color is also impressive, with deep hues of yellow and purple radiating throughout many of the pages. (6 & 7)
Menucha Page’s Jerusalem-based fine art continues this august tradition.