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Biographical/Historical Information

Moritz Daniel Oppenheim's life reflects the new possibilities opened up to Jews by the emancipation. Born in the Hanau ghetto, near Frankfurt, he was raised in a strictly Orthodox home, but his parents raised no objections to their son's artistic aspirations. Oppenheim received his art training in Hanau, Frankfurt, Munich and Paris. From 1821 to 1825 Oppenheim lived in Rome, then the European art center. Having obtained the patronage of Adolph Rothschild on a trip to Naples in 1823, Oppenheim's career was launched. After his return to Frankfurt, his clientele included the five Rothschild brothers and, through Goethe, the protection of the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar. His fame later in life was based on his 'Scenes of Traditional Jewish Family Life', of which this reproduction is a part. They were popular in reproductions all over Europe. His career, therefore, marks a significant turning point in the modern history of Jewish artists, since Oppenheim was the first to attain general prominence while remaining an observant Jew throughout his life.

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Oppenheim, Moritz Daniel: The Sabbath Eve, Leo Baeck Institute, 98.5.