Tag Archives: Israel

Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse – price record – Jacob Samuel – Biography

(31 December 1869 – 3 November 1954) was a French artist.known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter.

Henri Matisse was born on December 31, 1869, and was raised in the small industrial town of Bohain-en-Vermandois in northern France. His family worked in the grain business. As a young man Matisse worked as a legal clerk and then studied for a law degree in Paris in 1887-89. Returning to a position in a law office in the town of Saint-Quentin, he began taking a drawing class in the mornings before he went to work.

When he was 21, Matisse began painting while recuperating from an illness, and his vocation as an artist was confirmed. In 1891 Matisse moved to Paris for artistic training.

He took instruction from famous, older artists at well-known schools such as the Académie Julian and the École des Beaux-Arts which required working from live models and copying the works of Old Masters, but Matisse was also exposed to the recent Post-Impressionist work of Paul Cézanne and Vincent van Gogh while living in Paris.

Matisse began to show his work in large group exhibitions in Paris in the mid-1890s, including the traditional Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, and his work received some favorable attention.

Matisse is commonly regarded, along with Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, as one of the three artists who helped to define the revolutionary developments in the plastic arts in the opening decades of the twentieth century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture. His mastery of the expressive language of colour and drawing, displayed in a body of work spanning over a half-century, won him recognition as a leading figure in modern art.



Price records

“Cuckoos, blue and pink carpet”


Technique: Oil/canvas
Size 81 cm x 65.5 cm

Hammer price: $41,046,400

“The Odalisque, Harmony Blue” (1937)


Technique: Oil/canvas
Size 60.3 cm x 49.5 cm

Hammer price: $30,000,000

” Bouquet for July 14 ” (1919)
Picture 7

Technique: Oil/canvas
Size 116 cm x 89.0 cm

Hammer price: $25,500,000

“Portrait in Blue Coat” (1935)


Technique: Oil/canvas
Size: 91.3 cm x 59.8 cm

Hammer price: $20,000,000

“Dancer in the Chair, Checkerboard Floor” (1942)


Technique: Oil/canvas
Size: 46 cm x 55.0 cm

Hammer price: $19,419,680 


Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot – price record – Jacob Samuel – Biography

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (July 17, 1796 – February 22, 1875) was a French landscape painter and print-maker in etching. Corot was the leading painter of the Barbizon school of France in the mid-nineteenth century. He is a pivotal figure in landscape painting and his vast output simultaneously references the Neo-Classical tradition and anticipates the plein-air innovations of Impressionism.

A pivotal figure in landscape painting, Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot was an influential and prolific artist, producing over 3,000 works during his lifetime, and inspiring countless numbers of forgeries and copies. Although he was not especially interested or gifted in art at a young age, he decided to make the professional switch from businessman to artist at the age of 26, and in 1821, immediately began with the study of landscapes. He focused on two types of landscapes, historical landscapes, containing ancient and mythological creatures, and realistic landscapes, mostly of Northern Europe, with faithful renditions of flora and fauna, often mixing the two genres together.

In his travels through Italy to study Renaissance paintings, he was entranced by the light of the countryside, which was to influence his color palette throughout his paintings. Although he was also entranced by the Italian women, he wrote that his goal in life was to be committed to painting, and thus he had no time for marriage.

Jewish Algiers, the Italian
Technique: Oil/canvas
Size: 17 5/8 in x 14 3/4 in
Hammer price: $4,200,000
The Italian (c.1870)
Corot 1.jpg
Technique: Oil/canvas
Size: 28 3/4 in x 23 1/4 in
Hammer price: $2,600,000
Young Woman At The Fountain


Technique: Oil on canvas                                                                                                               Size: 25 5/8 in x 16 1/2 in                                                                                                           Hammer price: $2,041,620

Boatman from behind trees Shore

Technique: Oil/canvas                                                                                                                Size:39 3/8 in x 32 1/8 in                                                                                                               Hammer price: $1,850,000

Dreamer at the Fountain (c.1860-1870)


Technique: Oil/canvas
Size: 25 3/8 in x 17 3/8 in                                                                                                               Hammer price: $1,450,240

Molli Chwat Biography – Jacob Samuel

Born in Bialystok, Poland to a family of bankers. He studied art in his hometown and then entered the Saint Petersburg Academy of Fine Art. With the encouragement of thr notable painter Ilia Repine, he went in 1906 to a brief stay in Paris, were he was a free auditor in an art courses in the Art Academy. 
In 1909, he went to Geneva where met Gattin, a medicine student. The two fell in love and got married in the same year. In 1910, they came back to Saint Petersburg. Not much is known about this period of time in his life, until 1918. Feeling the tense building up in Russia, Chwat managed escaping from Russia before the revolution started. He and his wife went to Paris and during these years he entered the Fine Art Academy and later on the Open University. During the Second World War, Chwat became a refugee in Casablanca. He came back to Paris after the liberation and devoted his time to painting. In 1952, he received the Othon Friesz award.

In 1957, he immigrated to Israel. Until 1945, Chwat dealt with traditional classic subjects such as Portraits, but in 1945 he dedicated his painting to biblical themes, a transition that was very typical for Jewish painters after the Holocaust. Chawt died in 1979 in France. His works can be found in various museums in Israel and in France.“There are artists who attached to the ceremonial religion, others attached to the mysticism of the legends and some who enter the esoteric traditions. Chwat, in his painting, praises enthusiastically the great events that relate to the holly book. By this, he makes a strong and ancient connection to the source of Jewish art. Perhaps it is driven from the fact that Chwat is used to the countryside, were he lived the most.” La Via Juive, November 1955.
“There is a strange seduction in Molli Chwat talent, he is a remarkable colorist and living in alliance is an amazing force and the most subtle preciousness. His paintings combine cold tones that live in harmony with warm and generous tones. It is a silence, almost deaf symphony. In his paintings we can find the daring of the great primitive artists”.
Pierre Mornand La Revue Moderne Jenuar 1953.

Molli Chwat
Molli Chwat

Shmuel Ovadyahu Biography – Jacob Samuel

Ovadyahu was skillful painter and a master with colors. Ovadyahu painted the local life and landscape; he also painted and sketched scenes and characters from the Jewish pioneer life. Shmuel Ovadyahu was born in Ukraine to an orthodox Jewish family, when Shmuel was 7 years old the family moved to Lodz, Poland. 

Although Ovadyahu’s elementary education was religious he painted and sketched from a young age. In Lodz Shmuel Ovadyahu’s talent was discovered and valued by a Polish known aristocrat and since 1910 he financed Ovadyahu’s artistic education, at first at a studio in Warsaw and later at The Munich Academy (1912-1914). At the beginning of the year 1924 Ovadyahu started teaching in a Hebrew high school in Lodz, but he was so fascinated by the idea of immigrating to Palestine and living in the Land of Israel that he never finished the first school year and instead he realised his desire and immigrated to Palestine later that year.

Palestine was the mythological Zion, a dream land, but the reality of Palestine was strange to its utopian dream. At first the artist experienced great difficulties, the change in the appearance of nature was hard for his eyes to perceive, the hardest part was the Mediterranean light that made everything seem white to him. But with the passing time Shmuel Ovadyahu got used to the local sun and adjusted his color pallet, he started painting and sketching the pioneer life growing enthusiasm.

Ovadyahu was an impressionist; he painted with great sensibility and honesty landscape, still life, human figures and animals, Ovadyahu was especially fond of painting the sea, he also painted portraits (women portraits in particular). Ovadyahu’s paintings have lyrical qualities that reflect his poetic soul, his lyricism is joyful as appropriate to the vivid person he was. Ovadyahu was a master with colors and his colors were a great tool in passing to the canvas and to the world his great love for life. Shmuel Ovadyahu’s first solo exhibition was held in Tel-Aviv and it was opened by Meir Dizengoff (1925). In 1931 the artist went back to Europe for a tour, he visited Paris, Berlin and cities in Poland and held some exhibitions there.

Hanna Ben Dov Biography – Jacob Samuel

Born in Jerusalem. Father, Ya’akov Ben- Dov, was a famous Israeli photographer who founded the photography department in the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in 1910. 
Hannah herself attended Bezalel during the 40th, and later continued to Camberwell School of Art in London. After the completion of her formal education she moved to Paris, where she exhibited for the first time in 1948 and has been living and working there since, as a part of the local abstract artists school. She took part in the first French Biennale of 1951, which was held in Menton. Her paintings can be found in several collections, including the French State Collection, the Tel- Aviv Museum collection and the Rockefeller collection in New- York.
“In the wide jungle of painting’s salons in Paris, I found, from time to time, a sort of a relaxation spot, a spot that made me want to come closer and look at it, and I always realized, in the same pleasant way you meet a true friend, that these are Hannah Ben Dov’s paintings. This is the way I came to know this painter. In the atmosphere that surrounds the front line of today’s painting bursa, which loud and fast new orientations are in the top of all, as is they are objects of entertainment, and they do not leave the time to absorb, it is very nice to run into artists such as Hannah Ben Dov who lives by her own standard. Near the painting stand, in a work that knows no compromises, these sorts of artists are like a praying religious man.

They practice the values of painting that have no substitutes and no profit. The constant development of Ben Dov, which I have been observing for sometime now, never depended on signs from the outside world, but instead, stood in a front line with it, same line that reveals by the power of a jealous work between the artist and himself– the line of sincerity. It is not difficult to characterize Ben Dov’s work, since she succeeded in understanding the tradition of the French painting. She talks of structure, colors and forms in her paintings. It is typical to a true work of art, which it can not be explain by dismantling, the unity of the work is an unexplained secret, and it is much more valuable then each piece on its own.

The creation of Hannah Ben Dov have matured and reached to a place that doesn’t require any expertise terms. Ever since I came to know her work, I appreciated it as a cultural painting. Now days I look at it as painting that already achieved its spiritual goal, and the viewer only have to watch the painting and enjoy its beauty”.

J. J. Varen. Paris, 1969.

Jacob Samuel Biography – Osias Hofstatter

Osias Hofstatter Born in Galicia, Poland. His father, Ben Zion, was a merchant and his mother was a housewife. In 1914, with the break of World War one his family moved to Vienna and later on continued to Haag and Frankfurt. Between the years 1919- 1920 Hofstatter attended the Frankfurt Science School. Eventually the family returned to Vienna in 1921 and stayed there until 1938. In Vienna Osias worked as an accounted. In 1938 Hofstatter parents was caught by the Gastapo and were sent the Dachau concentration camp. He and his brothers managed to escape and they migrated to Belgium while his fiancée Ana fled to Czechoslovakia. In 1940, Osais and Ana were reunited in Brussels and they married. A month after the marriage Osais was sent to a concentration camp in France after being accused in spying in favor of Germany. His wife was sent to a different concentration camp where she worked as a seamstress. In 1942 he managed to reach to Switzerland with the help of his brothers who arrived before him. In Switzerland he worked in a refugee camp and begin drawing. In 1943, Hofstatter sent some of his drawing to the United Nations Service Committee in Geneva that decided to let him attend an art school. Between the years 1942-1946 he attended art schools both in Zurich and Vienna. After the war ended he received a visa to Vienna and he came back to his wife. In 1948 the couple moved to Poland and settled in Warsaw, where Osais worked as an art editor of a weekly paper and an art teacher. In 1959 they migrated to Israel. They settled down in Holon and Osias worked as a night watchman. In 1970 he quitted his job and bought a small house near Natanya, where he dedicated his life to his art. During his lifetime, Hofstatter created over 5000 paintings and drawings, mainly in black ink. In the 60’s he established a new technique of scratching the paper. Most of his works where created after he left his job in 1970. At the same period he begun to build a reputation for himself as an artist. Osais and Ana had no children and after his death in 1994 all his works were given to the Herzelia Museum of Art. In 1976, Hofstatter won the “Meir Dizingoff” prize in Tel Aviv and in 1991 he were given the “Discount Bank Prize” for an Israeli artist. “I do not have many dreams, my dreams are my paintings, although I do not know what is going to be in a painting. My dreams a very rare and not significant, I dream that I am alive and it is sufficient for me”. Hofsatter, 1990.


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.