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 Mane Katz  (1894 - 1962)

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Lived/Active: New York / Russian Federation/Ukraine/France      Known for: portrait and Jewish-theme painting

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Mane-Katz is primarily known as Mane Katz

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Mane Katz
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Raised in an orthodox Jewish family in Russia, Mane-Katz was born in the Ukraine and became an early 20th-century artist, known especially for portraits and paintings with Jewish themes.  From childhood, he had been influenced by stories of Jewish mysticism, which was reflected in his paintings.

He had a peripatetic life between Russia, France, Israel, and America.  He first studied art in Kiev at the Beaux Arts Academy, and in 1913, went to Paris where he associated with Chaim Soutine and Marc Chagall and continued his art studies there at the Beaux Arts Academy. 

During World War I, he tried to join the Foreign Legion but was rejected because he was too short.  He went back in Russia again, this time joining the Soviet Revolution but rejected the cause because he was so horrified by Josef Stalin.   He worked briefly for the Russian ballets, and in 1921, he returned to Paris where in 1927 he took French citizenship.  For the next twelve years, he traveled widely, showing his art work and doing many paintings.

In 1939, as World War II was breaking out, he was drafted by the French and then was taken prisoner by the Germans.   He escaped and went to the United States and remained there until 1945, exhibiting his paintings at Katia Granoff Gallery and Wildenstein Gallery.  After the war, he returned to Paris where he had exhibited in the Salons.  In Paris to the end of his career, he worked happily, painting hundreds of portraits of rabbis and works of Jewish symbolism.  In this way, it is thought he was to satisfy his father, who had wanted him to be a rabbi.  During these last years, he also resumed intense travel, going to Brazil, Japan, Israel and Argentina as well as throughout Europe.

The Mane Katz Museum is in Haifa, Israel at a mountain top villa that was once the home of the artist.


This biography from the Archives of AskART:

Born 1894 into a religious Jewish family, most of his work centers around Jewish life and religion.

Mané-Katz studied art in Kiev and came to Paris in 1913, where he became friends with Soutine and Chagall.  During WWI, he returned to Russia, working for the Russian Ballets.  He was back in Paris in 1921 and became a French citizen in 1927.  His work was part of many exhibitions at the Paris Salons until 1939, when he fled to the U.S. to escape persecution during WWII.  Mané-Katz  returned to his adopted country, and was back in Paris in 1945.

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