In her discussion of Rubin’s early Jerusalem landscapes, Carmela Rubin notes that in the works of the late 1920’s, “the colors have become darker and deeper, anticipating a more impressionistic and tonal style that would evolve in Rubin's art during the 1930's. Rubin painted Jerusalem throughout the sixty years that he lived in Palestine and then Israel. He admitted to feeling 'at home' even upon first arriving in Jerusalem, in 1912, at the age of eighteen to study art in Bezalel... Jerusalem, however, always retained its magic for him, something well reflected in his many depictions of the city on canvas... he revered Jerusalem to such an extent that he rarely painted it from within or from close by. When he painted Jerusalem, he kept at a distance, seemingly, unable to allow himself the same intimacy characteristic of his Tel Aviv paintings. Seen from a distance, the city is captured in a wide panoramic angle, with the hills and the wall surrounding it and the paths climbing up to it. The image conceived on canvas is that of a remote city, elevated and enclosed within its walls. In his early naive paintings, Rubin tended to treat the minutest of details of the setting or the landscape with much attention. Whether from a close view point or from a distance, he would not overlook a single house, a plant, a tree, camels passing by, donkeys and their riders, a winding dirt path. All were meticulously rendered on canvas, as though delicately stitched onto the cloth of an intricate work of embroidery, encapsulating singularly the artist's wonder and enchantment with his new surroundings." (Carmela Rubin in Home Visit - Rubin's Paintings from Public and Private Collections, Rubin Museum, Tel Aviv, p. 18).
Rubin’s sense of wonderment at the beauty of the city is palpable in his masterpieces of this period: “The artist stands back regarding the city from a distance demanded by his humility…..Stylistically, Rubin paints Jerusalem in the same naïve-primitive manner typical of his work during the twenties. In the case of his Jerusalem landscapes, this style serves to express the archaic, the spiritual, beyond the realities of daily life. Nevertheless, the early Jerusalem paintings are rich in detail despite the sense of depth and space which emphasizes the feeling of exultation” (Carmela Rubin, Jerusalem Landscapes, Rubin Museum. Tel Aviv, 1988).
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