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This portrait shows the Zionist leader Theodore Herzl dressed as a European intellectual, but his posture and surroundings are reminiscent of biblical depictions of Moses. In this way the artist associates a thoroughly modern personality with tradition and vision underlining his qualities as a leader. Herzl became famous for his publication ‘Der Judenstaat’ (‘The Jewish State’) in 1895. He was not the first to suggest that Jews form their own state, however it was his idea of a return to Palestine that eventually led to the foundation of Israel.
oil on canvas
H 91 x W 55.5 cm
on loan from Charles Rotenberg, 1988