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Biographical/Historical Information

Jozef Israëls (1824-1911) was a Dutch painter born to Jewish parents. He moved to Hague in 1870 and belonged to the Hague school of painters. Hermann Struck met him in 1900 and was heavily influenced by him.

Struck was a master of etching and book illustration. He taught the art of printmaking to Marc Chagall, Max Liebermann and Arno Nadel and his monograph on the art of etching is a classic in the field. Struck was both an Orthodox Jew and a Zionist, however, his outlook on the world was decidedly cosmopolitan. This is also evident in his countless portraits, from Friedrich Nietzsche to Sigmund Freud, and impressions from his wide travels. While on service in the German Army during WWI he came into contact with the Jewish Communities of Galicia and Lithuania. During this time he created a series of sketches in Eastern Europe, which he lated turned into a book together with Arnold Zweig, titled "The Face of East European Jewry". In 1923 he emigrated to Palestine, where he was belonged to the Bezalel School in Jerusalem.

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Struck, Hermann: Portrait of Jozef Israëls (1824-1911), Leo Baeck Institute, 78.1639.