(Above) Self-Portrait

Maurycy Gottlieb is sometimes
written as Maurycego Gottlieba.

PAGE LAST UPDATED:
DECEMBER 20, 2002

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MAURCY GOTTLIEB LINKS
Bio with list of works (in Polish)

Artzone.com has a brief
(and somewhat tangled)
English bio of Gottlieb
plus a small landscape
drawing attributed to him here.

The Tel Aviv Museum has
Gottlieb's Day of Atonement
with curator notes here.

Page promoting the
book Painting a People: Maurycy
Gottlieb and Jewish Art
By
Ezra Mendelsohn here.

Short bio with postcard image
of Gottlieb's Uriel D'Acosta
and Judith van Straaten
here.

ARTNET has a bio from the
Grove Dictionary of Artists here.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
MAURYCY GOTTLIEB
By Jerzy Malinowski
Published by Arkady
(Warsaw, 1997),
ISBN 83-213-3891-7.
84 pages, includes illustrations,
including reproductions of Gottlieb's canvases,
in color and black-and-white.

IN THE FLOWER OF YOUTH:
MAURYCY GOTTLIEB

By Guralnik, Nehama.
Published by Tel Aviv Museum
of Art, Dvir Publishers, 1991.
Library of Congress Call
No.: N7255.P63G682 1991

PAINTING A PEOPLE:
MAURYCY GOTTLIEB AND JEWISH ART

By Ezra Mendelsohn
Published by Brandeis Univ;
ISBN: 1584651792; (December 2002)

336 pages

 
 
 

MAURYCY (i.e, Moses, or Moshe) GOTTLIEB (1856-1879): The majority of the artwork in existence by Maurycy Gottlieb is in an unfinished state. For nearly a century the body of work he produced in his short life was thought to be small. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, lists of Gottlieb artwork began to appear from Eastern Europe, mostly from holdings in Poland, with now a total of some 300 known works world-wide.

One of eleven children to Isaac & Fanya Tigerman Gottlieb, Maurycy was enrolled at the Vienna Art Academy at fifteen. He later followed this with study under Polish painter Jan Matejko in Krakow. Within a half-year he had quit Matejko's studio angrily after repeatedly experiencing anti-semitism from the other art students. Gottlieb returned to Vienna and began a search for his Jewish roots; something vague for him as his parents had attempted to raise him in the then current secular school of "european enlightenment."

At the age of twenty he was awarded a gold medal at a Munich art competition for the painting Shylock and Jessica, taken from Shakespeare's play Merchant of Venice. The face for Jessica was modeled on Laura Rosenfeld, the unmarried daughter of a prosperous merchant family of Vienna. Gottlieb had proposed marriage to the girl, and was initially accepted, but was rejected shortly after.

It is believed that this rejection played the primary role in Gottlieb's death in 1879. Though he shortly was to arrange a marriage with Lvov native Lola Rosengarten, upon hearing of Laura Rosenfeld's marriage to a banker of Berlin, he apparently committed a form of suicide by exposure to the elements, succumbing to complications of a cold & sore throat.

As a Polish-Jewish artist, Gottlieb is unique. As a Polish painter, he is considered to be the best of his generation. Though reared as a secular Jew he steadily looked back toward a heritage he had been raised to be emancipated from. His painting Day of Atonement depicts himself as child, youth and old man on the holiday of Yom Kippurim. His painting of Jesus, (Jesus preaching at Capernuam) an unusual subject for a Jewish artist before the 20th Century, depicts Jesus with prayer shawl & earlocks, speaking in synagogue. Gottlieb's many self-portraits usually show a contemporary 19th century urbanite, with an aloof, querying look.

-Erik Weems

 

 

 

     
           
           
           
 

 

IMAGES

SELF PORTRAIT
(Polish - "Autoportret" )
Shown on this page facing.
1876
Oil on Cardboard

Narodowe w Kielcach Museum (National Museum in Kielce)

(SELF-PORTRAIT
AS) AHASVERUS

1876
Oil on Canvas

National Museum in Kracow

PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN
1879
Oil on Canvas

National Museum in Warsaw

BIBLICAL SCENE
Lwowska Galeria Obrazów

DAY OF ATONEMENT
1877
Oil on Canvas

Tel Aviv Art Museum in Israel

SHYLOCK & JESSICA
From The Merchant of Venice, by Shakespeare
1876
National Museum in Kracow

The two image links below: I would dispute that these are Gottlieb paintings at all. The style and composition seem vastly more primitive than the other paintings.

Czaty
(Illustration to a ballad by A.Mickiewicza)
Lwowska Galeria Obrazów

Synagogue
Lwowska Galeria Obrazów