Portrait of Saul Tchernichovski

Leonid Pasternak


Portrait painting of man wearing a suit and gazing toward the right with one hand tucked under his coat lapel.

Saul Tchernichovski (1875–1943) is considered one of the great modern Hebrew poets. His poems are part of the canon of Israeli literature, and his portrait appears on Israeli currency. Pasternak painted this portrait in 1923, when both men were living in Berlin, although Pasternak had painted Tchernichovski’s portrait several years before, in Russia. In 1921, Pasternak left Moscow, never to return, as he felt that the political situation would not allow him to continue his work as an artist. His post-impressionist style was not in fashion in Russia at the time, and he had greater prospects in Western Europe. His declining health and that of his wife also determined his decision to leave. He remained in Berlin until 1938.


Collection Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Gift of the artist, Berlin, 1935.

Published in: The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, vol. 8.

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