Friday, May 25, 2012

#ArtIHeart 11 - The Rabbi's Nude

Art I Heart
Share the art you love from your walls, a birthday card, what your child drew at school, that you saw in The National Gallery in London...

1. Choose one piece of art that has a short personal story behind it. It could be something on your wall, something you've seen in a gallery and love, homedrawn, on a postcard, on a birthday card, something by Degas or something by your DS.

2. Take a photograph, scan or download a picture of your picture and post it along with the short story about why you are drawn to it, have it on your wall, bought it, or hate it. Don't forget to link back to the linky so your readers can see the other entries.

3. Link up (it's open till next Thursday, 4pm GMT), leave a comment, et voila!

Here's mine:


I admit I chose a provocative title. No the Rabbi is not nude. And there isn't even a nude in the picture - but so many people think it is a nude when they glance at it for the first time. And it did belong to a Rabbi. Here's the story:

About 20 years ago a friend of mine was studying in Jerusalem to become a Rabbi, before returning to the UK. He and his wife rented a flat from a man who was going to sell it after their two year contract finished. Meanwhile he sold them all the furniture in the flat and they could do what they wanted with it before they left. This picture was on the wall.

It is drawn in pastel crayons and is signed Levin '57. I looked in the Artist Database of the Israel Museum but couldn't find any reference to this artist. I even had a friend called Levin in Jerusalem who was an artist, but it wasn't hers.


I first saw the picture on the Rabbi's wall during a Friday night dinner that I was invited to. I commented that it was quite a risque subject for a rabbinical student to host on his wall. He laughed, "it's a chair," he said.  I loved it. "It's yours when we leave," he said.

When their daughter was born and we went to have a celebratory drink, my parents were visiting so they came too. I pointed out the picture to my mother. "That's coming to me," I told her. "Is it'" she said flatly in that way only mothers of a certian generation can express disapproval. "It's a chair," I said.

Here's a sideways view - can you see the nude that isn't there?


The original was framed in an old fashioned, ornate and falling apart frame and the passe-partout seemed to have been cut with blunt scissors. I had it reframed. It now sits above my sideboard which, very soon, is going to change from being part of the playroom back into a grown up sideboard. Soon, very soon. (And the bike is going downstairs to be used outside only - as I said, very soon.)



14 comments:

  1. What a fabulous image - and a great idea for a post.

    Visiting via BYOBH.

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  2. This is a very interesting piece. I found my self studying it for some time .... How much art do you have in your home? You have quite a collection!

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    1. I have quite a lot, collected over the past 25 years. Non of it especially valuable and much of it donated. When you have white walla you have to put something on them.

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  3. Wonderful story behind this innocent painting!

    xx Jazzy

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    1. I wonder if it is so innocent, or if the artist knew what he/she was doing?

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  4. Replies
    1. Poeple sit looking at it for ages trying to work out where her head is.

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  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Twas spam - I'm getting rather a lot these days but most of it gets sent directly to the spam box. They are quite amusing though.

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  6. I love this! What a great idea! The new header on my blogwas drawn by a good friend of mine, she gave us an awesome painting as a wedding present too. As our 10 year anniversary is coming up, perhaps I should link up nextweek.
    XxX

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    1. Ooh yes, please do (or even this week, it's open until Thursday). And thanks for your comment.

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  7. I think the 'nude' figure's head can't be seen as it's bent over? The pointy part of the chair looks like the nape of the neck when looked at from far away, or when squinting.
    Lovely painting, such warm colours.

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    1. Yes I think I remember coming to that conclusion - before I saw that it was a chair. Re: the colours - thay are very strong and actually quite dark. This is the only picture in my home that I didn't take care to hang out of direcdt sunlight. There is no other picture I would put in the place of this one as it gets the sun every afternoon.

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