From his early childhood Rubin dreamt of going to Eretz Israel, especially to Jerusalem. Rubin recounted his feelings upon seeing Jerusalem for the first time in 1912; "In the little Turkish train that brought me from Jaffa, I had my eyes glued to the window, gazing at the landscape and breathing in the air of Eretz Israel... I was amazed to note that everything looked familiar to me. It seemed as if I knew every rock, every tree, and the desert hills. As the train came into Jerusalem I felt I was coming home" (C. Rubin, Rubin's Jerusalem Landscapes, Tel Aviv, 1988).
Although he had idolized the holy city, when Rubin returned to Israel in 1922, he chose to make his home in Tel Aviv.
Rubin painted Jerusalem on many occasions, often depicted with some religious celebration, such as Succoth in Jerusalem, 1926, Jerusalem Family, 1924, The First Sedder in Jerusalem, 1950. He also painted panoramas of the old city walls - such as The Old City, 1925 - 1926 and The Heavenly Jerusalem, 1956 - 1967. Unlike the Tel Aviv paintings, there are no representations of a street or a quarter in the Jerusalem landscapes. It is as though Rubin felt one could not break up the entirety of Jerusalem. Nothing less than a wide vista would do justice to what he felt when painting the eternal city.
"Rubin's poetic-mystic approach becomes even more noticeable in his paintings of the thirties. The small details of little stone houses, paths, trees, camels and donkeys gradually diminish and disappear altogether. Instead, his layers of paint become richer and more tactile. Yet, in spite of the abundant use of paint, the impression created is vague and hazy. The olive trees blend into the surrounding space, the Dome of the Rock is seen behind the wall, and even the wall seems to lose it's material weight" (ibid.).
In Jerusalem seen from Mount Scopus, painted in 1939, the old city reigns at the upper part of the composition. Olive trees dominate the foreground and paths leading through the valley up to the heavenly mystical city bathed in golden hues. Rubin rendered an evocative and ephemeral vision of Jerusalem with a sensitive, delicate brush.