Catalogue entry

N02116 JEWS MOURNING IN A SYNAGOGUE 1906

Not inscribed.
Canvas, 50×39 1/2 (127×100).
Presented by Jacob Moser, J.P., through the Trustees and Committee of the Whitechapel Art Gallery in commemoration of the 1906 Jewish Exhibition 1907.
Exh: N.E.A.C., June–July 1906 (119); Jewish Exhibition, Whitechapel Art Gallery, autumn 1906 (35).
Lit: The Jewish World, 13 July 1906; J.B. Manson, ‘The Paintings of Mr William Rothenstein’ in Studio, L, 1910, p.42; Wellington, 1923, p.27; Men and Memories, 11, 1932, pp.35–6, 99; Speaight, 1962, pp.162–6.
Repr: Studio, XL, 1907, p.225.

The artist describes (loc. cit.) how he chanced to visit the Spitalfields Synagogue and was excited by the unusual sight. Not permitted to paint there he took a room close by and persuaded some of the men to sit for him. In the following two years he painted eight pictures of Jewish subjects. The first of these was ‘The Talmud School’ 1904. Later he got some of the Jews to sit for him in Hampstead. By 1907 he grew tired of painting Jews and turned to domestic interiors. A drawing, ‘Early study for Jews Mourning in a Synagogue’, was exhibited at the Carfax Gallery, March 1907 (33). See also Beerbohm N04165.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II