This fine Modernist portrait by Clare Winsten shows Joseph Leftwich (1892-1983), the Jewish critic and translator who coined the term ‘Whitechapel Boys’ to describe an influential group of Jewish writers and artists working in London’s East End during the period 1910-14.

Winsten was born Clara Birnberg in Romania in 1894, but emigrated to England with her parents in 1902. She trained at the Slade School of Art and rose to prominence as part of the circle of Jewish Modernist painters that included Mark Gertler, David Bomberg and Isaac Rosenberg. Birnberg anglicised her name to Clare after her marriage to the writer and pacifist Stephen Winsten during the First World War. Clare Winsten’s portrait of Leftwich in the nascent Vorticist style has dual significance for the Ben Uri collection, being a likeness of the man who coined the term ‘Whitechapel Boys’ by the group’s only ‘Whitechapel Girl’.


The artist; the artist's estate; Andrew Best; bought by Mark Ponting, Blondes Fine Art, 2011

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