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Biographical/Historical Information

Baruch Spinoza was a Jewish Dutch rationalist philosopher of the 17th century. Born in Amsterdam in 1632 into a family of Jewish emigrants from Portugal, he was trained in Talmudic scholarship, but his views soon were considered to be atheism, and at the age of 24 he was excommunicated by a rabbinical court. In his principal work “The Ethics” (published only posthumously), Spinoza expressed his view of God or Nature as being everything. Working as a lens-grinder, he died of consumption in 1677, caused by inhaling glass dust at his workbench.

Max Busyn was a Polish-Israeli painter and graphic artist. Born 1899, Lodz. Studied: 1922/23 Art Academy of Dresden. Lived in Berlin 1929-33, then emigrated to Palestine. Created murals for the Jewish seniors' home in Berlin. Busyn's works that used to be in the collection of the Jewish Museum in Berlin have been lost since WW II. Busyn was briefly inluenced by Otto Dix.

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Busyn, Max: Portrait of Spinoza, Leo Baeck Institute, 80.231.