Reuven Rubin (1893-1974)
Reuven Rubin (1893-1974)


Reuven Rubin (1893-1974)
signed and signed in Hebrew 'Rubin' (lower right)
oil on canvas
28 5/8 x 36¼ in. (72.7 x 92 cm.)
Painted in 1951
Sir Isaac Wolfson, London, by whom acquired in the 1950s.
Mrs Jessie Hyman (née Wolfson), a gift from the above in the 1960s, and thence by descent to the present owner in 1981.
A. Werner, Rubin, Tel Aviv, 1958, p. 32 (illustrated).
Sale room notice
Please note this work has been requested for the forthcoming exhibition Reuven Rubin - Select Paintings from British Collections, curated by Mrs. Carmela Ruben, to be held in London in March 2013.

Lot Essay

Carmela Rubin has confirmed the authenticity of this painting.

An emigré from Romania, Reuven Rubin moved to Jerusalem in 1912 where he studied at the famous Bezalel Art School. Travelling to Paris in the 10's and New York in the 20's, Rubin absorbed all that the avant-garde could teach him and he subsequently rejected Bezalel's teachings. He turned to Cezanne and Henri Rousseau as inspiration for the images of his homeland for which he would become so revered. These landscapes are almost dreamscapes, depicting the land of David and evoking a biblical past that was so close to the hearts of those who had come from Europe to settle there, as he had. The present work shows a panorama of Jerusalem in the distance, the Har haBáyith or Temple Mount gleaming, with the olive groves of the Holy Land in the foreground.
Olive groves were a favorite motif for Rubin, and they appear throughout his oeuvre in works from the 10's right through to his later works of the 60's. As well as documenting the landscape of his new homeland these olive groves are laden with symbolism - the 'land of olive trees and honey' (Deuteronomy 8:8) promised to the Jews by God. Rubin remains one of Israel's most beloved painters, his works are a document of Israel at the birth of the 20th Century and show us how an idea of the land looked in the minds of those who inhabited it.

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