A Jew in ceremonial robes sits alone at the front of a synagogue, his hand on his forehead and eyes closed in a pose of profound contemplation.

The sombre composition is typical of WolmarkÂ’s early career, depicting a Jewish subject in a style influenced heavily by Rembrandt. Wolmark was BritainÂ’s first major migrant Jewish artist. Born in Warsaw but moving to England as a child, he anglicised his birth name of Aaron to Alfred during his training at the Royal Academy. His sitters were often drawn from his own neighbourhood in the East End of London, fellow Jews whom he paid to sit for him.


Artist's family; Fine Art Society; Marton Braun.

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