Skip to main content
Want more images or videos?
Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 15

Jacob Kramer
Portrait of Grace - British 1920's art female chalk portrait

Circa 1920

About the Item

This enigmatic 1920's Art Deco portrait is by noted Russian born British artist Jacob Kramer. Worked in chalk/pastel on paper it is a portrait of 'Grace'. There is strong emphasis on her eyes and red lips with a halo of blonde hair. A really striking portrait of a beautiful woman and an excellent example of his work. Signed lower right, inscribed lower left. Provenance. Yorkshire estate. Condition. Chalk or pastel on buff paper, 15 inches by 10 inches unframed and in good condition. Frame. Housed in a fine complementary Medici Society frame, 23 inches by 18 inches framed and in good condition. Jacob Kramer (1892-1962) was born in the small town of Klintsy in 1892, then part of the Russian Empire, into an artistic middle class Jewish family. His father, Max, was a painter who had studied at the St Petersburg Fine Art Academy under Ilya Repin, and had become a court painter to Baron Ginsburg. Kramer's mother, Cecilia, was also artistic being a trained singer who was well known for touring a regional network of theatres established by her father, at which she performed traditional Slavic and Hebrew folk songs. Following the accession of Tsar Nicholas II in 1894 a new virulent anti-semitic policy was introduced to force Russian Jews either to assimilate or leave the country. The Kramers chose the latter, and left Russia in 1900, emigrating to England where they settled in the Northern industrial city of Leeds. Here they lived in poverty, with Max Kramer taking work as a photographer's assistant. The Kramers had four more children born in Leeds, the oldest of whom, Sarah, later married the artist William Roberts. In 1902, aged only ten, Kramer ran away from his new home in Leeds, taking various jobs in different parts of the north of England, and even going away to sea for six months. During this sojourn away from his family, Kramer attended occasional art classes, but his first formal art education was at Leeds School of Art which he attend from 1907 till 1913. During this time he was also to become involved in the radical modernist organisation the Leeds Arts Club, which introduced him to the ideas of expressionist artists, such as Wassily Kandinsky and the spiritualist beliefs that came to underpin his work. Writing to his close friend and fellow Arts Club member Herbert Read in 1918, Kramer stated that when he looked at an object he saw both its physical appearance and its spiritual manifestation. His struggle, he claimed, was to escape the physical appearance and only paint the spiritual form. Such ideas came straight from the expressionist and Theosophical spiritualism that dominated the Leeds Arts Club, and show clearly that Kramer was himself an English Expressionist artist. With a scholarship from the Jewish Educational Aid Society, Kramer was able to study at the Slade School of Art from 1913 to 1914. Here be befriended other leading artists of the day, including Augustus John, David Bomberg and William Roberts. He was involved in the Vorticist movement led by Roberts and Wyndham Lewis, although he was never really a follower of the style. Nonetheless, several of his woodcuts did appear in the Vorticist literary magazine Blast, and other periodicals including Colour, Rhythm and Art and Letters. In London, Kramer rapidly became well known in the hedonistic artistic circles that dominated before the First World War and was to be seen frequently at well-known artistic haunts, including the cabaret-club The vae of the Golden Calf, The Cafe Royal and The Tour Eiffel. In the early 1920s Kramer returned to Leeds where he became something of a local artistic celebrity. After the collapse of the Leeds Arts Club in 1923 he had numerous schemes to establish a new artistic meeting place in the city, almost all of which came to nothing. The great exception to this was the informal gathering called the Yorkshire Luncheon Club, which met regularly at Whitelock's public house in Leeds, and invited some of the leading cultural figures of the 1930s, 40s and 50s to Leeds to speak. For the most part, however, Kramer's return to Leeds was not a triumph, and he lived in utter poverty and alcoholism, often producing poor quality portraits of local figures to pay for his drinks. None of this later work does justice to the startling quality and originality of Kramer's earlier work, including paintings such as The Day of Atonement, The Talmudists, The Jew, Mother and Child, and the 1922 abstract expressionist painting Musical Theme. His friend Jacob Epstein made a bust of him, copies of which can be found in the Tate in London and at Leeds City Art Gallery. The Tate, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Museum all hold examples of Kramer's work, but the most extensive collections can be found in Leeds at the Leeds City Art Gallery and Leeds University Art Gallery. The standard work on the artist is now David Manson, Jacob Kramer: Creativity and Loss (Bristol: Sansom, 2006).
  • Creator:
    Jacob Kramer (1892 - 1962, Ukrainian)
  • Creation Year:
    Circa 1920
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 23 in (58.42 cm)Width: 18 in (45.72 cm)Depth: 2 in (5.08 cm)
  • Medium:
  • Period:
  • Condition:
  • Gallery Location:
    London, GB
  • Reference Number:
    1stDibs: LU853113078092
More From This SellerView All
  • Portrait of a Lady - British art Post Impressionist 40s drawing female portrait
    By Edward Bainbridge Copnall
    Located in London, GB
    A dramatic head and shoulders portrait of a lady in coloured chalks attributed to noted British artist Edward Bainbridge Copnall. This is just a stunning artwork which dates to circa...
    Category

    Early 20th Century Realist Portrait Drawings and Watercolors

    Materials

    Chalk

  • Portrait of a Woman - British Art Deco style female portrait
    By Stefani Melton Fisher
    Located in London, GB
    A really lovely early 20th century British watercolour and chalks portrait on paper by Stefani Melton Fisher. It depicts in a realistic palette a beautiful young woman and was painte...
    Category

    20th Century Art Deco Portrait Drawings and Watercolors

    Materials

    Chalk, Watercolor

  • Portrait of a Lady - Roaring twenties art female portrait chalk drawing
    By Count Mario Grixoni
    Located in London, GB
    This is a beautiful sanguine chalk drawing portrait of a young woman, by Count Mario Grixoni, dated 1922. Executed by one of the leading artists of the day, it is a very striking and...
    Category

    1920s Art Deco Portrait Drawings and Watercolors

    Materials

    Chalk

  • Portrait of a Lady - British Roaring Twenties Art Deco female portrait red chalk
    By Count Mario Grixoni
    Located in London, GB
    This is a very pretty sanguine chalk drawing on paper of a young woman dated 1923 by Count Mario Grixoni. Executed by one of the leading artists of the day it is a very striking and...
    Category

    1930s Art Deco Portrait Drawings and Watercolors

    Materials

    Chalk

  • Portrait of a Lady - British Art Deco 30's drawing young woman good provenance
    By Hubert John Williams
    Located in London, GB
    A fine and detailed Art Deco pencil, black, red and white chalk portrait of a young woman by Hubert Williams. The work dates to circa 1930 and is very skilful in its execution. A bea...
    Category

    1930s Realist Portrait Drawings and Watercolors

    Materials

    Chalk, Color Pencil

  • Portrait of Elaine Blunt - British 19th century art Pre-Raphaelite chalk drawing
    By Edward Robert Hughes
    Located in London, GB
    This captivating Victorian sanguine chalk portrait drawing of a young girl is by Pre-Raphaelite British artist Edward Robert Hughes. Signed and dated 1896, Hughes depicts in great detail her sweet young face and beautiful dress which appears to almost glow with light. A full length portrait and a really lovely drawing epitomising childhood innocence. The portrait depicts Elaine Blunt and has an inscription from Edward Hughes verso. Signed and dated lower right. Provenance. Colchester estate. Sotheby Lot 283 29th June 1976 Chapman Bros Condition. Sanguine chalk on paper, 28 inches by 20 inches unframed and in good condition. Housed in a glazed oak frame, 37 inches by 29 inches framed and in good condition. Edward Robert Hughes - Not to be confused with Edward Hughes (1832 - 1908), who specialised in portrait painting. Edward Robert Hughes RWS (1851 – 1914) was an English painter who worked prominently in watercolours, but also produced a number of significant oil paintings. He was influenced by his uncle and eminent artist, Arthur Hughes who was associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and worked closely with one of the Brotherhood's founders, William Holman Hunt. Having settled on his career choice, Edward Robert Hughes attended Heatherley's in London to prepare himself for the chance of auditioning for the Royal Academy School. Hughes became a student at the Royal Academy School in 1868. While Pre-Raphaelitism played an influential part in shaping Hughes work, Aestheticism is also seen in his paintings. E.R. Hughes is widely known for his works Midsummer Eve and Night With Her Train of Stars yet he built a career as a portrait painter to the upper classes. In addition to being an accomplished artist himself, E.R. Hughes was also a studio assistant to the elder artist and Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood founding member William Holman Hunt when Hunt suffered from glaucoma. Two of the paintings that Hughes worked on with Hunt were The Light of the World, which is displayed in St Paul's Cathedral, and The Lady of Shalott, which is exhibited at the Wadsworth Atheneum. On his own he experimented with ambitious techniques and was a perfectionist; he did numerous studies for many of his paintings, some of which turned out to be good enough for exhibition. Hughes held several important offices within the artistic community over his lifetime such as becoming a member of the Art Workers Guild in 1888, and was on their committee from 1895 to 1897. He was elected to Associate Membership of The Royal Water Colour Society (ARWS) on 18 February 1891, and he chose as his diploma work for election to full membership a mystical piece (Oh, What's That in the Hollow?) inspired by a verse by Christina Rossetti entitled Amor Mundi. His painting A Witch was given by the Royal Watercolour Society to King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra to mark the coronation in 1902. In later years Hughes served as the Vice-President of the RWS before leaving in 1903. Throughout his career, E.R. Hughes exhibited his works in several galleries around London: Dudley Gallery, Grosvenor Gallery, New Gallery, The Royal Academy, and toward the end of his career he exhibited with The Royal Society of Painters in Water Colours (RWS). His works can be seen in public collections including Cartwright Hall, Bradford, Cambridge & County Folk Museum, Maidstone Museum & Art Gallery, Bruce Castle...
    Category

    19th Century Pre-Raphaelite Portrait Drawings and Watercolors

    Materials

    Chalk

You May Also Like
  • Pensive young girl
    By Henri Fehr
    Located in Genève, GE
    Work on paper Golden wooden frame with glass pane 66 x 53.5 x 3.5 cm
    Category

    Mid-20th Century Portrait Drawings and Watercolors

    Materials

    Pastel, Chalk

  • "Jade", Figurative, Portrait, Acrylic, Chalk Pastel, Wax Pastel
    By Chambers Austelle
    Located in Philadelphia, PA
    This figurative portrait drawing titled "Jade" is an original artwork by Chambers Austelle made of acrylic, chalk pastel, wax pastel. This piece measures 12"h x 12"w. Chambers Austelle is a contemporary figurative painter and educator living and working in Charleston, SC. Austelle is best known for her compositions of vivid color and female subjects. The isolated environments challenge the viewer to question the way beauty and women are perceived in our culture. Austelle’s work has been exhibited nationally and exists in many private collections. She was awarded Best in Show at The City Gallery for “Piccolo Spoleto’s 2016 Juried Exhibition”, as well as Charlie Magazine’s “50 Most Progressive”. Most recently, she was the 2018 recipient of St. Thomas’ Artist...
    Category

    21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Portrait Drawings and Waterco...

    Materials

    Oil Pastel, Chalk, Pastel, Acrylic

  • Untitled (Man in Blue Tank Top)
    By Mark Beard
    Located in New York, NY
    Pastel and conté crayon with partial foil star on Rives BFK paper Signed and dated, l.r. This artwork is offered by ClampArt, located in New York City. Mark Beard, born in 1956 in ...
    Category

    1970s Realist Portrait Drawings and Watercolors

    Materials

    Foil

  • France circa 1820, Portrait of a gentleman, black chalk and pastel drawing
    Located in Paris, FR
    France circa 1820 Portrait of a gentleman Black chalk and pastel on paper 12 x 10 cm In its original mount, modern oak frame : 25 x 22.5 cm
    Category

    1820s Romantic Portrait Drawings and Watercolors

    Materials

    Chalk, Pastel

  • Stalemate
    By Joseph Broghammer
    Located in Kansas City, MO
    Due to the current situation related to the Novel Coronavirus pandemic, our gallery will donate 10% of our commission from this sale to the Kansas City Artists Coalition, which has been supporting local Kansas City Artists for the past 40 years. The Kansas City Artists Coalition (KCAC), is a non-profit, artist-centered, artist-run alternative space, supporting artists at every level in their career through exhibitions, continuing education and artist studios. Artist: Joseph Broghammer Title: “Stalemate” Materials : Chalk pastel and pencil on Arches Paper Date : 2018 Dimensions : 7 x 11 ft. Omaha based artist Joseph Broghammer is as much of a storyteller as he is an artist. His one-of-a-kind pastel drawings in “Animals” are chronicles of his life. The creatures Broghammer creates are vehicles to uncover the varying characteristics of the artist’s personal identity. Hence, Broghammer’s “Animals” translates as a flowing stream of consciousness. The different birds and livestock staring back at the viewer are ornamented with iconographic symbols – small surprises along the way. These trinkets are keys to understanding the stories Broghammer is sharing. Broghammer began mastering his “dry painting” technique during his B.F.A. in Visual Art at the University of South Dakota. He graduated in 1986 and a year later went on to study his M.F.A. at the University of Wisconsin. In 2009, he studied at Creative Capital in Omaha, Nebraska. As storytellers often do, Broghammer later went on to become an educator himself, teaching at WhyArts? and becoming an Artist Assistant at Vera Mercer in Omaha – both of which he still practices at today. It’s apparent that Broghammer’s work has resonated with so many people around the world. Only a few years after his formal education, he began exhibiting his work through various International group shows in Italy, Germany, Holland, Mexico, and even Kansas City. Although Broghammer’s portraits depict downy creatures, his work is very much about the human experience. They are honest and full of life, evoking a sincere exchange between artist and viewer. “Animals” is for the animal lovers, students, teachers, collectors, writers, the young or old, and art historians alike. Dry Painting, Pastel, Drawing, Chalk Pastel, Oil Pastel, Painting, Contemporary Drawing, Contemporary Painting, Animal Drawings, Animal Paintings, colored pencil, pencil, large-scale drawings, portrait, portrait drawing, contemporary art, contemporary artists, Joan Miro, Max Ernst, Leonora Carrington, Vladimir Kush...
    Category

    2010s Contemporary Drawings and Watercolor Paintings

    Materials

    Chalk, Pastel, Archival Paper, Pencil, Color Pencil

  • Young elegant woman in a hat
    By Edgar Chahine
    Located in Genève, GE
    Work on paper Brown wooden frame with glass pane 92 x 73 x 5 cm
    Category

    Early 20th Century French School Portrait Drawings and Watercolors

    Materials

    Pastel, Chalk

Recently Viewed

View All