Portrait of a Woman

Image credit: Ben Uri Collection

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Painted with bold, expressive lines in a sombre palette, this portrait of an unknown woman exudes a quiet melancholy. The figure has a weighty, monumental quality typical of Adler’s work.

Adler came from a large, orthodox Jewish family in Lodz, Poland and considered becoming a rabbi. After studying in Poland and Germany, he settled in Düsseldorf in 1922, where his work was influenced by Paul Klee. When Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933 Adler fled to Paris, working with Stanley Hayter at Atelier 17 and meeting Picasso, who also profoundly influenced his style. Upon the outbreak of the Second World War Adler joined the Polish Army in France, was evacuated to Scotland in 1940, and later settled in London. In his later work Adler became increasingly interested in texture and composition but never wholly embraced abstraction.

Ben Uri Gallery & Museum



Portrait of a Woman


acrylic on paper on board


H 54.5 x W 37.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift from Chinita Abrahams-Curiel in memory of her husband Conrad, 1994

Work type


Inscription description



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Ben Uri Gallery & Museum

108a Boundary Road, St John's Wood, London, Greater London NW8 0RH England

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