Yeshayahu Yariv, Tel Aviv
Galconda Fine Art Ltd, Tel Aviv
Purchased by the present owner directly from the above
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Zaritsky Retrospective, 1984, page 20, no. 3, illustrated in the exhibition catalogue
Mordechai Omer, Jossef Zaritsky, 1987, Israel, p. 20, no. 3, illustrated in color
Yeshayahu Yariv (ed.), Zaritsky Watercolours, 1992, Israel, p. 49, no. 1, illustrated in color
This work is a superb example of Zaritsky's early work in which the influence of the Russian artist Vrubel is apparent in the mosaic of forms and colors. Mordechai Omer discusses a similar work by the artist and notes: "From the period of Zaritsky's life in Russia, until he immigrated to Eretz-Israel at the age of 32, very few paintings, remain - five watercolors in all. Three of these are portraits of the artist's wife, Sarah (Sonia), in which the artist comes very close to the model's space, while the model herself-as-it-were blocks this intimacy." (Mordechai Omer (ed.), 90 Years of Israeli Art: A Selection from the Joseph Hackmey - Israel Phoenix Collection, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 1998-1999, p. 192). In reference to another early work of the artist's wife, Mordechai Omer writes: "Without a doubt, in this painting the interplay between interior and exterior, between man and the landscape spread out before him, attests that Zaritsky was still subject to that emotional excitement which was so characteristic of late 19th-century Russian modernism - especially that of Levitan, Serov and Vrubel, with whom he associated at the beginning of his artistic career in Kiev. Already at this stage one can discern the independent manner in which the stains, autonomous in their positioning and coloring, cover the lines of drawing which are still preoccupied with problems of representation. The freedom of expression that Zaritsky took for himself in composing the texture of colors in this painting was a first stage in the process of liberating himself from the burden of literary subjection and basing his painting purely on plastic values... in Zaritsky's work the colors are symbolistic. When he arrived in Kiev in 1910, Zaritsky was fascinated by the frescoes and especially the Byzantine mosaics, which drew his attention for the first time to the importance of the conceptual-ornamental organization of forms - a kind of organization which particularly accentuates the flatness of the wall or floor on which they were laid... For Zaritsky, Vrubel was undoubtedly a first examplar of an art that connects empirical reality with its hidden, mysterious, inconceivable aspects. Vrubel's paintings represented an art which endeavors to express (as the Russian writer Rilov put it), 'a deep sense of mystery'; a painting which makes use of what is 'there' to bring out from it 'gleams of precious stones'." (Mordechai Omer (ed.), 90 Years of Israeli Art: A Selection from the Joseph Hackmey - Israel Phoenix Collection, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 1998-1999, p. 194).
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