Auctions: Rubin's Arab period

A remarkable early Palestinian-period by Reuven Rubin, from 1924, leads Sotheby's New York sale of Israeli art.

By MEIR RONNEN
December 13, 2007 11:44
2 minute read.
rubin art 88 224

rubin art 88 224. (photo credit: )

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

A remarkable early Palestinian-period Rubin, Ramparts of Jerusalem, an oil from 1924, leads Sotheby's annual New York sale of Israeli art on December 18. Highly stylized in what was to become Rubin's signature style for the next five years, it may well top a hoped-for $300,000. The only figure in this studio painting is a tiny one of an Arab woman leading a laden donkey up to one of the city's gates, via a walled path lined on one side with cypresses. For the next few years, Arab fishermen and Arab fruit vendors, mostly from Jaffa, were to be among the newly arrived painter's favorite subjects. In lot 98 of this sale, a later and rather pretty Rubin oil of a window with a vase of flowers, circa 1963/4, also has a tiny depiction of an Arab couple with a donkey in the background. This oil also has an estimate of $200,000-$300,000. Funnily enough, a large Rubin head of a Jaffa Arab currently adorns a poster for a Jewish event printed by New York's Jewish Museum. The Arab wears a typical Arab crocheted skullcap, which the JM has mistaken for a kippa. It should know better. Mordecai Ardon, Abel Pann, Josef Zaritzky, Mane Katz, Raffi Lavie, Ori Reisman and Avigdor Arikha are all well represented in this sale. I did not like any of the other Rubins, nor the Kislings. Of historical interest is a wall painted on six wooden panels by Yosl Bergner in the late 1950s and which adorned the Cafe Kassit in Tel Aviv after 1960. Haskel, the famed host of the Kassit, appears in one of the windows. This jolly masque is expected to do better than $100,000. THERE ARE two fine portraits by Isidor Kaufmann (1853-1921) in Sotheby's Judaica sale in New York on December 19. The boy in a shtreimel seated before a parochet was probably the artist's son ($200,000-$300,000) and the even more touching head of a sober new bride in a rich sterntichel (richly jeweled piece of the cloth covering her newly shaven head) was modeled by the painter's daughter. Kaufmann knocked out many versions of these best-sellers but all are equally well done. The newly rich but saddened bride has a somewhat lower estimate of $150,000-$200,000. A highlight of this sale is a Spanish Hebrew Bible from 1300; a wonderfully illustrated 18th-century Hebrew Haggada and an illuminated Esther scroll from 19th-century India. There's a vast array of silver and brass Hanukka lamps and quite wondrous central European lamps and spice towers. The catalog is a knockout.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Sarah Silverman
August 26, 2014
Jewish women take home gold at 2014 Emmys

By JTA