The Rabbi

Image credit: Ben Uri Collection

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Simeon Solomon's fascination with faith and the aesthetic qualities of religious ritual often produced work featuring young men in idealised roles as rabbis, priest or acolytes rapt in mystical contemplation. His young Rabbi is shown in synagogue with the ner tamid (everlasting light) behind him, holding a lulav (palm leaf), one of the four species (arbah minim) usually bound together. These indicate the festival of Succot, although the three other plants used in the ritual are missing from the picture. Nevertheless, his Jewish subject paintings have been called 'among the best of what is commonly called Jewish art, notwithstanding the fact that the artist, early in life, had become converted from nominal Jewish orthodoxy to a fervent Catholicism'.

Ben Uri Gallery & Museum



The Rabbi




charcoal on paper


H 51.2 x W 34.2 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased with the assistance of Mosheh Oved, 1918

Work type


Signature/marks description

Signed and dated (lower right): S Solomon 1893


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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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