Sterling Silver Day of Atonement Artistic handmade work
A very unique piece, hand crafted in sterling silver.
Inspired by Maurycy Gottlieb’s original piece; "Day of Atonement", 1878.
The painting below was done in Vienna, and is one of three masterpieces on religious themes painted by Gottlieb. It reflects the artist's personal conflict as to his identity as a Jew, a Polish citizen, or a man of enlightenment. However, in this painting, Gottlieb does not hesitate to depict himself as a Jew among his fellow-Jews, in the synagogue, on the Jewish people’s holiest day of the year. It is possible that towards the end of his short life Gottlieb resolved his conflict of identity. In his work, he chose to depict himself in the context of Jewish tradition and culture, but also, as an independent person, enlightened, unafraid to stand up on his own.
When his father saw the work he strongly protested and Gottlieb erased it, but later replaced it.
The painting is based on the artist's memories of the synagogue in his childhood home of Drohowicz. Of the twenty figures in the painting, 15 are of those closest to the artist: his parents, his fiancée Laura and her family, and his own self-portrait which appears three times at different ages: In the center of the picture, he appears to be 22, as he was at the time the picture was painted; on his neck lies a medallion with a Star of David and his initials in Hebrew. On the left, the same medallion may be seen hanging on the neck of Gottlieb as a young child, dressed in holiday finery with an open prayer book before him. On the right side, Gottlieb may be seen as a youth looking aside from his prayer book.
His fiancée, Laura, appears twice. On the left, she stands up [in the women's gallery], holding a closed prayer book and on the right, she bends over, whispering to her mother.
One year following the completion of the picture, Laura Rosenfeld married Leo Henschel. Two weeks later Gottlieb died suddenly following a short illness. There are those who say he committed suicide due to unrequited love for Laura. On the Torah mantle may be seen an inscription dedicated to the memory of the dear, departed Moshe (Maurycy) Gottlieb of blessed memory. Gottlieb explained that an urge came upon him to write his own epitaph. His epitaph to the life and world view of Maurycy Gottlieb.
Size (framed): 50cm X 44cm