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As Hirszenberg gathers together three generations of one family to celebrate the Jewish Sabbath (Shabbat), he contrasts their traditional way of life with the new industrialisation symbolised by the cityscape seen through the window beyond. The star-shaped lamp, designed to burn for 24 hours (because it is forbidden to do work of any sort, including the lighting of lamps during Shabbat) indicates the family’s piety; the muted palette illustrates their poverty.
oil on canvas
H 149.5 x W 206.5 cm
purchased with the assistance of Moshe Oved, 1923
S. Hirszenberg, 1894