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Mordecai ARDON - Sarah - (plein cadre)

Mordechai Ardon’s Sarah (1947) is an early Israeli reaction to the Holocaust that harnesses the Biblical metaphor of the tragic outcome of the story of the Binding of Isaac. The events of the Shoah put religious belief under attack. In one midrashic version of the story, Isaac is actually slain by his father Abraham at God’s command. Ardon depicts this movement of Sarah’s anguished scream over the body of her son on the altar. The shock kills Sarah just as the horrible reality of the millions slain in the Shoah extinguished the faith of untold thousands. Nonetheless, with the exception of the figure of Job, the blameless righteous man tested by God, Biblical subjects have been underutilized in addressing the Holocaust.
Born Mordechai Eliezer Bronstein on July 13 of 1896 to Orthodox Jewish parents in Tuchow, Poland. Ardon showed interest in art, and began drawing at a young age. Then in 1919 he traveled to Berlin where he pursued a career in acting; however Ardon quickly realized his true calling was painting, and left the school. From 1921 to 1925 he studied at the Bauhaus – the premier European avant-garde center at the time - under Klee, Kandinsky, Feininger and Itten. After his studies, he returned to Berlin with his wife Miriam. By 1926 he was traveling to Munich to study painting techniques of the Old Masters under Max Doerner at the Munich Academy.

Ardon began to exhibit his art with the Berlin November Group in 1928. Then in 1933 he immigrated to Jerusalem, Israel. It was there that he joined the faculty of the New Bezalel Arts and Crafts School in 1935, and found time to paint when he wasn’t working. Five years later he was elected Director of the Bezalel School. Throughout the fifties he lectured at the Hebrew University on art appreciation; and from 1952 to 1963 he became artistic advisor to the Israel Ministry of Education and Culture. It was in 1963 that he finally retired and continued to focus solely on his artwork.

During these years, he created eight monumental triptychs as well as one of his most famous creations: The Ardon Windows. The windows were made of beautiful stained glass, displayed at the Jewish National and University Library. Ardon dedicated the windows to Isaiah’s vision of eternal peace which incorporated visual elements from the Kabbalah.

Ardon was both an influential artist and teacher over his lifetime and in recognition of his achievements, was awarded the Israel Prize in 1964. Ardon passed away in June of 1992 at his home in Jerusalem, Israel. His works are on display at the Israel Museum, Tate Gallery in London, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and The Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
peinture, israel, oil on board,
ardon - Sarah 1947 () - 21 sur 834

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