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Jacob Kramer (1892-1962)
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Jacob Kramer (1892-1962)

The Prophet

Details
Jacob Kramer (1892-1962)
The Prophet
oil on board
21½ x 15 in. (54.6 x 38.1 cm.)
Provenance
Sarah Roberts, the artist's sister.
with Belgrave Gallery, London, 1979.
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No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

Born in the Ukraine, Kramer came to England in 1900, settling in the Jewish colony in Leeds. Initially studying at Leeds School of Art, he continued his tuition at the Slade School in London (1913-14). Fellow Jewish students at the Slade included Bomberg, Rosenberg and Gertler, although it was their commitment to modernism that identified them as a group rather than their Jewishness. Kramer did paint Jewish subjects in his work, particularly in early paintings, partly through availability of sitters known to him, and this interest culminated in his masterpiece Day of Atonement, 1919 (Leeds City Art Gallery). However, he also depicted Christian imagery in his work. He commented, 'You think it is strange that I, a Jew, should spend nearly all my mature life trying to express Christ ... and yet, why not? I am not an orthodox Jew. I have a respect for all religions. My Christ is to be a - a symbol of - what shall I say? - of the Problem of Suffering: a theme universal to all mankind - Jew, Christian, Mohammedan alike' (Daily Express, 22 March 1933) (see Exhibition catalogue, William Roberts and Jacob Kramer: The Tortoise and the Hare, Leeds, The University Gallery, 2003, p. 23).

The present work orginally belonged to Kramer's sister, Sarah, who married the artist, William Roberts, in 1922.
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