"From the 1920s on, Gutman painted Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee in numerous variations. The presence of the latter is highly conspicuous; at times it functions as the kingpin of the painting. A cheerful, colorful air infuses his 1950s and 1960s paintings of Tiberias with a sense of festivity." (Nahum Gutman 1898-1980, exhibition catalogue, The Gutman Museum, Tel Aviv, 2003, p. 84).
In this work the viewer is immediately immersed into the vibrant café scene on the banks of the Sea of Galilee. The dancing movement of the black-suited waiters carrying never-ending dishes to the café sitters; the smell of the salt and fresh fish; the reflection of the sun and the clouds on the clear blue water and the sensual pull of the red dress of the woman standing on the balcony of the oriental-styled building with the bright blue window all contribute to this vivacious composition, unique to this important artist.
Gutman's fascination with life in the land of Israel is inherent throughout the artist's oeuvre. Whether he is depciting the country's protagonists, the landscape or the sea, his colors are bright, his scenes are vibrant and his brushstrokes are expressive. Although influenced by artists such as Renoir, Picasso, Rousseau and especially Raoul Dufy, Gutman had his own unique style which combined modernist trends, exotic orientalist elements, fine illustrative brushstrokes and a narrative and vibrant depiction of the building of a new life. Well known also as the founding father of illustration in Israel, Gutman illustrated many classics of Hebrew literature and was most notably recognized as the illustrator for the children's magazine Davar Li'Yeladim.