Oskar Kokoschka. Sheik Mustafa Khalil el-Ansari Chief Warden of the Mosque of Omar (plate 5) from Jerusalem Faces. (1973-1974, executed 1973)

Oskar Kokoschka Sheik Mustafa Khalil el-Ansari Chief Warden of the Mosque of Omar (plate 5) from Jerusalem Faces (1973-1974, executed 1973)

  • Not on view

In April 1973 Oskar Kokoschka visited Jerusalem, where he sketched six of the city's political and religious figures. He portrayed four Israeli leaders: Prime Minister Golda Meir, Supreme Court President Shimon Agranat, Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan, and Jerusalem's mayor, Teddy Kollek. The other sitters represented the city's religious diversity: His Beatitude Benedictos I Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem and Sheikh Mustafa Khalil el-Ansari, chief warden of the Mosque of Omar. Kokoschka removed all references to time or place by setting the figures against blank backgrounds, and focused on capturing the essence of each personality through a rapid, direct approach, sketching on transfer paper during an intensive session in which he would sit only a few feet away from his subject.

PUBLISHING HISTORY

Kokoschka undertook the project to benefit the Jerusalem Foundation, an organization founded by Kollek, which used the proceeds to support educational opportunities and foster friendship between Jewish and Muslim youth. This was one of many humanitarian efforts Kokoschka promoted through printmaking during his nearly seventy-year career. Two London publishers, Marlborough Graphics Ltd. and George Weidenfeld & Nicolson Ltd., covered the entire cost of the project.

Publication excerpt from Heather Hess, German Expressionist Digital Archive Project, German Expressionism: Works from the Collection. 2011.
Medium
One from a portfolio of six lithographs
Dimensions
composition (irreg.): 22 5/8 x 19 5/16" (57.4 x 49 cm); sheet: 25 11/16 x 19 5/16" (65.2 x 49 cm)
Publisher
George Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, Marlborough Graphics Ltd., London
Printer
J.E. Wolfensberger, Zurich
Edition
160 (including a deluxe portfolio edition of 10 numbered I-X, all plates signed by the artist and the sitter, and a regular portfolio edition of 150 numbered 1-150, all plates signed by the artist [this ex.]); plus 20 A.P. of the single lithographs numbered A-T and several h.c. reserved for the collaborators
Credit
Gift of the Joseph H. Hazen Foundation in honor of William S. Lieberman
Object number
254.1974.5
Copyright
© 2021 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Pro Litteris, Zurich
Portfolio
Jerusalem Faces
Department
Drawings and Prints
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