Abraham Solomon, Painter of Fashion, and Simeon Solomon, Decadent Artist

The history of the visual arts in the twentieth century has been remarkable for the emergence of many outstanding Jewish artists. A far from
complete list would certainly include such widely known names as Marc Chagall, Jacob Epstein, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Amedeo Modigliani, Chaim Soutine, and Ben Shahn. For a non-Jewish observer, this major, uniquely Jewish contribution to the arts of painting and sculpture has a sudden, dramatic force, for eshadowed only by the symbolic entrance of Camille Pissarro into the Impressionist head quarters at the cafe* ‘Les Nouvelles Athenes’, bearing a canvas under his arm, looking like Moses bearing the Tablets of the Law.

But like most apparently sudden artistic events, historical research reveals earlier talents of real ability, important though less familiar precursors of later developments. Recent research has shown that the effect of the injunctions against the making of graven images did not prevent a continuous tradition of

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