About this artwork

This portrait depicts the writer Leon Wieseltier (b.1952). Wieseltier is perhaps best known for the work 'Kaddish', an examination of the way Jewish tradition deals with death and mourning, and a book which has been translated into many languages. Wieseltier has also been the literary editor of the periodical 'The New Republic' since 1983. Like many of Arikha's other portraits, this painting has a neutral background, with the sitter looking into the distance. In his portraits, Arikha frequently depicted his male sitters clothed in a uniform of shirt and jacket, as he does here.

  • title: Portrait of Leon Wieseltier
  • accession number: GMA 4336
  • artist: Avigdor ArikhaIsraeli (1929 - 2010)
  • depicted: Leon Wieseltier
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Writing and literature
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1992
  • measurements: 81.00 x 100.00 cm (framed: 107.00 x 87.00 x 3.90 cm)
  • credit line: Presented by the artist through Marlborough Fine Art 2000
  • copyright: © Estate of Avigdor Arikha. All rights reserved, DACS 2016

Avigdor Arikha

Avigdor Arikha

Israeli artist Arikha was born in Romania. He studied in Paris from 1949 to 1951, making it his permanent home in 1954. After establishing himself as an illustrator, Arikha made abstract paintings until 1965. After this time, he restricted himself to drawing and etching, making a series of portraits of his friend, the playwright Samuel Beckett. When he began painting again in 1973, Arikha worked exclusively from life, painting quickly and straight onto the canvas using oil paints. The National Galleries of Scotland own several of Arikha's portraits, which are notable for their sense of calm and mastery of colour.