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Head of a Jew in Palestine

1899, reworked ca. 1918-1920 Henry Ossawa Tanner Born: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1859 Died: Paris, France 1937 oil on canvas 24 x 21 1/4 in. (61 x 53.9 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Robbins 1983.95.189 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 12A

Luce Center Label

Henry Ossawa Tanner used the local people as models in his religious paintings during his trips to the Middle East and North Africa. He may have used this portrait for the figure of Nicodemus in Nicodemus Visiting Jesus, painted in Jerusalem in 1898. This old but dignified man made quite an impression on Tanner, who later wrote, “I still remember with pleasure the fine head of the old Yemenite Jew who posed for Nicodemus.”


Ethnic - Jewish

Figure male - elderly - waist length


paint - oil

fabric - canvas