Born in 1924 in Essen, Germany, Bezem’s adolescence was spent in the harsh conditions of a refugee camp in Poland. In 1939 he was sent to Eretz Israel by his parents, who later perished at Auschwitz. The trauma of the Holocaust fueled Bezem's belief in mankind’s ability to build a new life founded on social justice and equality. This personal history largely shaped his artistic style and work and is omnipresent in his landscapes: ‘...he [Bezem] chose not to paint it as fruitful, replete with cities and people as it is today, but rather as a nostalgic dream of by-gone years, when life was simpler and pioneers believed they could change the desolate land into a garden of Eden…Only rarely at this time does a modern building intrude, and then it seems a distant vision…’ (Ziva Amishai-Maisels ‘The Unknown Bezem’ in R. Rechav, ed., Naftali Bezem, Tel Aviv,1986, p.XXXII). The religious Jews in On the Dunes appear lost and out of context in this barren landscape, however, the contours of the pregnant woman echo the curves of the landscape and point us towards the promise hidden in the future of this new-found land.