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frame: 859 x 702 x 103 mm
Gertler often took his subjects from the Jewish community in Whitechapel where he had grown up. Here he presents an archetypal Jewish family using simplified forms and consciously archaic figure types, inspired by folk art and early Italian painting, sources which were influential among the Bloomsbury artists with whom he was associated at this time. Gertler’s mother regularly modelled for him, and his depictions of her reveal a complex interplay between different constructions of Jewish identity and artistic influences. This shows her as a peasant wearing a headscarf, although she had appeared in earlier portraits as a smartly-dressed Edwardian matron.