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Moshe Castel
SOARING LETTERS Signed Lithograph, Stone Tablet, Ancient Hebrew, Judean Hills

1980

About the Item

SOARING LETTERS by the Israeli artist Moshe Castel (1909-1991) is a limited edition hand drawn lithograph printed using traditional lithographic techniques on archival Somerset paper 100% acid free. In SOARING LETTERS, a three dimensional relief effect is visible in the black writings and stone tablet achieved by using shades of gray and black with predominate colors of mesmerizing deep blue, beige, rust orange and black. Castel creates a very aesthetically appealing and captivating contemporary arrangement of historic Jewish symbolism - ancient book pages, papyrus fragments, and a glimpse of the Judean mountains. Print size - 21.75 x 29 in., unframed, excellent condition, pencil signed by Moshe Castel Edition size - 150, plus proofs Year - 1980 Printer - JK Fine Art Editions Co., NY Moshe Elazar Castel born in Jerusalem, Ottoman Palestine, in 1909, to Rabbi Yehuda Castel and his wife Rachel. The family was descended from Spanish Jews from Castile who immigrated to the Holy Land after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. Castel attended his father’s school until the age of 13. He went on to study at the Bezalel Art School in Jerusalem, where he was encouraged by his teacher to study in Paris furthering his art education at the Academie Julian and Ecole de Louvre in Paris. He was greatly influenced by European masters Rembrandt, Velasquez, Delacroix and Courbert after spending his days copying their works hanging in the Louvre. Castel returned to Palestine at the onset of WWII. The subject of Castel’s early paintings were scenes of Sephardic Jews in the Holy Land. In 1947, Castel helped to found the "New Horizons" (Ofakim Hadashim) group together with Yosef Zaritsky, Yehezkel Streichman, Marcel Janco and others. During the 1950s, his artwork changed style reflecting his inspiration from ancient relief paintings depicting predecessors of the Jewish people. These paintings were surrounded by ancient ruins of basalt stone blocks, which later on became the foundation for his unique artistic technique. In 1955, a solo exhibition of his works was mounted at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. His murals hang in the Knesset, Binyanei Hauma Convention Center, Rockefeller Center in New York, and the official residence of the President of Israel in Jerusalem. In 1959, he purchased a studio in Montparnasse where he worked for several months a year. Castel used actual ground basalt, mixed with sand and glue, to then form into different shapes which he then engraved. The engravings, evocative of stone writing tablets, were derived from numerous ancient symbols of Hebrew culture. Moshe Castel produced two major commissions for the Israeli government, consisting of large reliefs in his signature style. A large collection of the Mr. Castel’s artwork can be viewed at the Moshe Castel Museum of Art outside of Jerusalem.
  • Creator:
    Moshe Castel (1909 - 1991, Israeli)
  • Creation Year:
    1980
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 21.75 in (55.25 cm)Width: 29 in (73.66 cm)
  • Medium:
  • Movement & Style:
  • Period:
  • Condition:
    Very fine condition, never been framed, pencil signed and inscribed P.P.(Printers Proof) aside from an edition of 150, printers chop mark embossed on lower left corner.
  • Gallery Location:
    Union City, NJ
  • Reference Number:
    1stDibs: LU83236382602
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