Emmanuel Mane-Katz

An artist who loved more than one country. #EmmanuelMane-Katz was born in the Ukraine. He use to say his real home was Paris (He became a French citizen) but his spiritual home was Israel where he is buried.

His Jewish heritage meant that he was born Mane Leyzerovich Kats (1894-1962). His father wished him to become a rabbi but Katz loved to paint. At the age of 19, he moved to Paris to study. During WWI, he went to live and paint in Petrograd but eventually left to return to his home town of Kremenchuk to teach art. In 1921, he again returned to Paris, where this time he met and became friends with Pablo Picasso. He was associated with the group of artists known as the #SchoolofParis and was considered a member of the #JewishSchoolofParis.

He first visited Israel in 1928 and thereafter he was an annual visitor to the state.

His painting style was classical and somber using darker and earthier colours but after WWII his painting style changed. He began to utilise primary colours, brighter, more vivid, more life affirming colours to paint his #Hasidic characters – rabbis, musicians, beggars, yeshiva students – and scenes of shtetl life in Eastern Europe.

The painting, I acquired this past week, comes from his early period in which he used more somber colours. Large brush strokes laden with paint enable a three dimensional aspect to the painting which allows light and shadow to play a part in ones viewing of the painting.

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