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Susi Lewinsky

Artist 3 of 12

Lewinsky, Susi, 1911–2004: “Landscape in San Salvador”, 1944, Leo Baeck Institute Art and Objects Collection, 2004.34.

Susi Lewinsky (1911–2004)


Lewinsky worked mainly in watercolors until she studied with Valero Lecha, under whose influence she incorporated oil painting and lush colors into her oeuvre. This painting, with its rich palette and contrasting light effects, dates to Lewinsky’s stay in El Salvador. Lewinsky was interested in local life and the rural landscape, and she often included scenes from daily life in her work. Here, she depicts a group of farmers’ houses. A woman and child stand outside of one of the buildings while another woman works behind trees on the left. A forest makes up the background of the painting. The big tree gives shade to the residents and creates a feeling of security for viewers.

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Philo-Atlas: Handbuch für die jüdische Auswanderung (Philo-Atlas: Manual for Jewish Emigration), Berlin: Philo GmbH, 1938.


Susi Lewinsky was born in 1911 in Hamburg, where she received her art training at the School of Arts and Crafts. Because she was Jewish, Lewinsky was not allowed to continue her studies or work as an artist after Hitler’s rise to power. She immigrated to Palestine, then left for England where she was trained as a nurse. In London, she met Georg, her future husband. They married in 1939 and immigrated to El Salvador in the same year. In San Salvador, Lewinsky returned to her art studies at the Academia de Dibujo y Pintura under Valero Lecha, a leading figure of Salvadorean painting. She also began exhibiting in South America and Israel. The family moved again in 1957 to San Francisco, where Lewinsky continued with her artwork and exhibitions extensively.