Born 1924, Egypt – Died 2005, Israel
Zvi Raphaeli was an impressionist Israeli artist and rabbi. Furthermore, he was a member of the French resistance during WW II. In his art he connected religion and art. The painter emigrated to Israel in 1945, when he was 21. He lived in Jerusalem and Safad, the Holy Cities of Judaism. Also, later on in his life, he lived in the United States.
Zvi Raphaeli was born in Egypt in 1924. However, from the age of 3 he was educated in France. studied art at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and, additionally, at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. Most of his youth the artist spent in Paris. During the first visit to Israel, Zvi Raphaeil was invited to the chasidic wedding in Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem. This visit left a strong impression on the painter and he started to deepen his religious knowledge. Moreover, he began studying at the Sephardic yeshiva “Porat Yosef” together with his painting classes with Yaakov Steinhart. The demand on his works and the interest in the artistic circles were increasing. Besides, he soon held many exhibitions, that contributed to his rise and fame in the art world. He continued to develop in the spiritual world as well and in 1960 he was sent to Italy, for three years of service as a rabbi.
Over the years,
his unique style evolved. He depicted mostly Israeli street scenes, Jewish life and festivities. The artist used impasto technique in his oil on canvas paintings. Impressionistic, but, also, unusual style of the painter drew the attention of critics. Among others, Austrian born Israeli art critic Theodore F. Meisels described the art of Raphaeli in The Jerusalem Post: “Still, one should watch out; Should Raphaeli, who behind his beard is far younger than he looks, ever attempt to harmonize his two worlds, then this genuine painting ‘Chassid’ could develop into an Israeli Chagall…..”
Despite the fact
that Zvi Raphaeli was an artist and a rabbi, he was published as an art critic. His focus were Israeli artists of the 70’s.
You can find a large selection of his artwork in Kings Gallery.
Kings Gallery is a leading fine art gallery established in Jerusalem in 1995 that strives to collect and sell the highest quality historic and contemporary Israeli and International art.