Ludwig Blum Biography – Jacob Samuel

Born in Brno, Czech and immigrated to Israel in 1923. In his early childhood he showed artistic talent and his parents sent him to study fine art. His professional education commenced at the state academy in Vienna, followed by studies at the Prague academy with the professor Franz Tiela at 1919. Blum’s service in the Austrian army interrupted his studies for five years during World War one.

The academy was followed by the classical painter’s pilgrimage to Holland, France and Spain. He was always a sportsman and an enthusiastic Zionist therefore he was one of the founders of the “Macabi” Jewish Sport Organization. In 1923, he settled down in Palestine and ultimately in Jerusalem. In the first few years of his life in Palestine he traveled a lot to the neighbour countries to explore it and to describe it in his paintings. He painted the portraits of many important men from the region, including the portrait of king Abdalla the first, of the kingdom of Jordan.

Blum exhibited frequently, both in Israel and abroad. In 1936, one of his paintings- “Jerusalem” received special mention in the Royal Academy. Blum was one of the notorious artists of what was known as the “German School” in Jerusalem. The German School was mainly influenced from the Expressionism movement, although he has stayed at London during 1938 pre world war 2 with his family in the purpose of displaying his works in various exhibitions. Jerusalem Jewish’s expressionism was by far milder then the European. During the Israeli independence war in 1948, Blum and his wife stayed in Jerusalem and in spite of their age they insisted on joining the civil forces and help the “Hagana” Jewish military.

This decision descanted from a private tragedy that happened to the couple when their youngest son Eli was killed in 1946 in the A- Ziv battle during his service in the Palmach (Jewish resistance force). The drawings from the period of the war are part of the permanent exhibition in “Beit HaPalmach”, where you can also find a portrait of Moshe Dayan he painted, which is signed by him and the first Israeli prime minister David Ben- Gurion. This portrait was given to Dayan on his birthday.).

In 1949 Blum was one of the initiators of the foundation of the first Israeli artists house in Jerusalem. In 1968 he received the honorary reward of “Yakir Yerushalayim” for his artistic tribute to the city of Jerusalem. In the opening of one of his exhibition, the mayor of Jerusalem Tedi Kolek said: “Blum’s paintings had helped our Jewish brothers abroad feel closer to us, Israeli Jews, better then any other messenger”. Blum’s works are found in museums and private collections around the world. They increase in value and are much sought after by collectors. He died in Jerusalem in 1974.

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