Tag Archives: Jew

Isaac Dobrinsky Biography- Jacob Samuel

Isaac Dobrinsky was born in 1891 in the city of Makarov, Ukraine. His father was a religiously observant Jew and he himself was brought up in a traditional way: he studied in a “Heder” (Jewish elementary school) and in a “Yashiva” (Jewish high school). He always found himself attracted to art. So he moved to Kiev in order to study sculpture after his father’s sudden death. 
Finally, after working as a model for terracotta sculptures, he started learning sculpting in a studio. He worked as a storekeeper in a factory during this period. In 1912, he won a prize for his sculpture which allowed him to move to Paris where he lived until his death in 1973. Upon his arrival in France, he became friends with the sculptor Marec Szwarc and the painter Chaim Soutine who helped him settle down in Paris and shared their studio with him. Dobrinsky suffered from a disease that makes him neglect sculpture in favor of painting a year after his arrival. His first painting was shown at the Salón de Independientes a few months later.

In 1914, he joined the French foreign legion, but he was soon released on medical discharge. Then he returned to Paris and attended the Colarossi Academy, where he met Vera Kremer (her father, Arkadi Kremer, was the founder of the Bund, the Jewish socialist party in Eastern Europe).

The two got married in 1926. In 1934, he moved to a larger studio in Montparnasse, and in the next few years he made his major breakthrough in the art scene during that period of time. These were happy days for the young couple, full with creativity and muse. But the Second World War had put an end to this harmony. In the first two years of the German occupation, Dobrinsky and his family stayed in Paris, but in 1942, in order to escape deportation, they fled to a small village called Dordogne. Only in 1944, after the liberation, Dobrinsky returned to Paris, just to find that the sculptures he had left behind were destroyed. In 1950, he was invited by Serge and Rachel Pludermacher (the founders of an orphan home) to paint the portraits of the children in their institute. In the course of two years, Dobrinsky worked on about forty portraits of young boys and girls.

Dobrinsky used to say: “I don’t wish to be successful, I just wish to understand the mystery of creation”. And indeed, those who knew Dobrinsky say that there was something almost religious in his act of painting: very intimate and somewhat melancholic. Even though he had a heart condition during his last years alive, he had never stopped painting, and always in the same manner. When he died at the age of 81, he was in a mid of a still life painting he had never finished.


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.