Castel and his family were firmly rooted in Eretz Israel. He could trace back his ancestry to the Spanish exodus of the 15th century, when his ancestors decided to return to the country of their forefathers. He studied at the Beaux Arts School and held exhibitions in Paris, London and in 1933 in Haifa. During this period he took part in a number of well known Paris Salons.
His longing for life in Eretz Israel was expressed in his paintings of the French period. The subjects vary - picnics on the grass, holy places and people in the countryside. Upon his return to Israel in 1940, he settled in Safed, an ancient and mystical city. His works of the Safed period include interior scenes, such as Lot 28 and landscape paintings as the present lot.
Gideon Ofrat described the landscapes of the period (G. Ofrat "Castel's Celebrations", in On the Ground, Jerusalem, 1993, pp. 736-738): 'The red passion of the French landscapes of the 1920s has been replaced by a blue mysticism, the road which in the French paintings led to a group of houses, leads now to the holy mountain'.