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David Rakia
Jewish Mystical Kabbalah Oil Painting Jerusalem Cityscape Hebrew Letters Judaica




"Tzadik" A Surrealist oil painting of old mystical Jerusalem with Hebrew calligraphy Sight 13.25" x 19.5" ; frame: 21" x 27.25" David Rakia (1928-2012) was born in Vienna, Austria to a religious family named Shternfeld. His father was a Sofer, a Jewish ritual torah scribe. They emigrated to British mandate Palestine in 1938. He fought and was injured in the War of Independence. After the war he began studying with the artist Mordecai Ardon later joining the Bezalel school in Jerusalem where he studied under Isidor Ascheim and Yakov Eisenscher. He continued his studies at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, France where he studied painting, lithography and mural art developing a Symbolist style influenced by Surrealism. His first exhibitions were held at that time at the Musee d'art Moderne in Paris, as well as in Switzerland. Upon his return to Israel in 1960, he began a series of drawings in which Hebrew letters played a central part. His work began to include metaphysical motifs from Judaism, such as the usage of calligraphic Hebrew letters, descriptions of Jerusalem, and the like. A Kabala influenced Expressionism. A year later an extensive individual exhibition of Rakia's work was held at the Tel Aviv Museum. Following the Six Day War, Jerusalem became a central theme in the artist's work. The city, as the essence of the national destiny was concretized both realistically and symbolically, beside the archways, walls and plants, the letters had, from time to time, figurative and abstract shapes. In the seventies a new spirit filled Rakia's work, beside the previous world of shapes appear horses, in a range of hues and positions, accompanied by musical instruments. Whatever the forms and subjects may be, the reflection of light shining in the background is in all his works. Sometimes the light is green, blue or red, sometimes it is concentrated in a circle, or it appears diffuse. Light is one of the strongest expressions in Rakia's world view as it is reflected in his art. It is an ongoing attempt to touch the mystical experience and the tie between our national existence and the cosmic order around us. The forms and colors are a means of reifying the cosmic cycles of time, light and sound. Man himself appears infrequently in these works, Rakia preferring to place in them his longings to understand and to touch the wonderful system which surrounds his existence. The life and work of David Rakia have been described in the book written by Dr. Marcel L. Mendelson, which was published by 'Massada' in 1978. A book about the artist written by Dr. Gideon Ofrat titled Signs was published in 2009. Rakia's works have been displayed in over 100 individual exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the world, and they are also to be found in important art collections. Rakia was a member of the Jewish Painters' Association, Paris, France, 1958 Select Group Exhibitions 2010 Primaries, The Bible (Beit Hatanach) Museum, Tel Aviv 2008 The First Decade Mishkan Le'omanut, Museum of Art, Kibbutz Ein Harod The Song of the Beggars: The Archetype of the Beggar in Israel Art, Beit Avi Chai, Jerusalem 2004 Salute to Jerusalem Artists, Municipal Art Gallery, Jerusalem 1994 Jerusalem Artists Creat in the Refinery in Ashdod, The Korin Maman Ashdod Museum 1985 Exposition des Artistes de Jérusalem, Grand Palais, Paris, France 1984 Sign and Symbol, Artists' House, Jerusalem 1978 künstler aus Jerusalem, Galerie Gisela Piro, Frankfurt, Germany 1972 Old and New in the Museum Collection, Yad Labanim Museum, Petach-Tikva Jacob El Hanani, Naftali Bezem, Yosl Bergner, Shraga Weil, Yossef Zaritsky, Anna Ticho, Lea Nikel, Yohanan Simon, Reuven Rubin, Reuven David Rakia, Hermann Struck, Jakob Steinhardt, Boris Schatz, and others. 1969 Art Festival, Painting & Sculpture in Israel , The Exhibition Grounds, Tel Aviv 1967 Artists in Israel for the Defense, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Helena Rubinstein Pavilion 1965 Group Exhibition, Nora Art Gallery, Jerusalem 1963, 1965 Central Exhibition, Art in Israel, Tel Aviv Art Museum 1962 Spring Exhibition - Jerusalem Artists, Artists' House, Jerusalem Select Solo Exhibitions 1957 Artists’ House, Jerusalem 1958 The Jewish Center, Zurich, Switzerland 1960 Rakiah, Comedy Gallery, London, England Recent Paintings, Rina Gallery, Jerusalem “Rakiah – Peintures”, Galerie Loujetzky, The Hague, Netherlands 1961 Exhibition of Paintings, Tel Aviv Art Museum 1962 Gouache paintings, Nora Art Gallery, Jerusalem 1964 David Rakia, Woodstock Gallery, London Oil Paintings and Gouaches, Nora Art Gallery, Jerusalem 1966 Exhibition of Paintings, ZOA House, Tel Aviv 1967 The Anne Frank House, Amsterdam 1976 Oil Paintings and Tapestry, Arta Gallery, Jerusalem 1977 Paintings, Graphics, Tapestries, Artists' House, Jerusalem 1979 “Legends of letters“, Museum Ha Aretz, Tel-Aviv 1989 “Exhibition of lithograph and linoleum cuts, Paris 1956-1959 “The Jerusalem Theatre 1999 Jerusalem Theatre, Jerusalem 2003 The Synagogue in Middelburg, Holland 2017 “Rakia's Windows “, Heichal Shlomo - The Wolfson Museum of Jewish Art, Jerusalem


  • Creator
    David Rakia (1928 - 2012)
  • Creation Year
  • Dimensions
    Height: 21 in. (53.34 cm)Width: 27.25 in. (69.22 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
    good. minor waving to canvas. minor wear commensurate with age. please see photos. strip frame has wear.
  • Gallery Location
    Bal Harbour, FL
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU3828709332

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    Ships From: Bal Harbour, FL
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