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LOT: 091

Ephraim Moses Lilien. Original illustration on wood, from the Ghetto L’Tziyon, 1902

One of the most famous works by the first Zionist artist, Ephraim Moses Lilien. Original drawing on wood. Memento for the Fifth Zionist Congress—1902. In the picture is an old Jew, bent and sitting in the barbed wire fence of exile, and an angel standing behind him pointing at a Jewish farmer plowing and settled the Land of Israel, and at the bottom is an engraving from the Amidah, “And our eyes shall return to Zion with mercy.” This famous illustration was used in the invitation to the Fifth Congress, on postcards, Ex Libris, and more. Size: 29x40.5cm. In a double-frame. Very good condition. From a private collection. Ephraim Moses Lilien (1874-1925) was a founder of Betzalel, and he made his name from his works on subjects of Judaism and Zionism. He is often nicknamed “the first Zionist artist.” In 1906 he moved to Israel, and together with Boris Shatz and Julius Rothschild founded the Betzalel Art School. Taught the first class of Betzalel, and designed the school’s symbol. After a year he moved back to Germany, where he lived a majority of his life. Visited Israel more and was considered one of the greatest Jewish artists, he was a founder of Zionist illustration, many Betzalel artists based their works upon his creations. Artists like Reuven Rubin and Aryeh Lubin were greatly influenced by him when they started. Streets in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are named after him.
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