Thursday, March 18, 2010

Unique rabbinic portraiture; I stand up for the honor of the Beis Halevi, I think. Reb Chaim Ozer fans should have a look as well.

SoMeHoW Frum includes the following painting in illustration of a post:

It can be yours for $1200! (link).

I could not help but thinking that it's really a disrespectful depiction (surely unintentionally so). But I'd like to throw my point out there to see if people agree or not. While recognizing that in reality Reb Chaim is the true patriarch of the House of Brisk, is it not crass to place him front and center and largest of all, right next to the Beis Halevi?

(As an aside, I think these composites which seem fashionable these days are deliciously bizarre. The partisan Satmar ones are especially so.)

Since we're doing portraits, here's a unique one:

As you can see, this is R. Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky done in micrography while he was still living!


  1. Thanks for the plug. The picture is worthy of the "niftar" and his mentor.

    I doubt the artist has any malintent with the placement of the portraits.

  2. which text is used for that micrography?

    there is a micrographic portrait of r. yitzchak elchanan spektor (paris, late 19th c.) that uses his own work as the text. it too is presumably from when he was alive.

  3. The description I have is that the artist is N. Kopelovitch, and it "consist[s] of his biography." If anyone knows of any well known, shortish biography of R. Chaim Ozer, then it's probably the one.

  4. Here's a micrography of Parisian CR Zadoc Kahn

    Unfortunately I have no idea what the text is.

  5. Forgive my ignorance, but who's on the right of the first picture.

  6. R. Velvel Soloveitchik, the grandson, commonly known as "the Brisker Rav" or "the Rav."

    Nothing to forgive. It's probably healthier not to immediately recognize all three. ;-)

  7. Or maybe he's just going left to right, holy spirit, father, son. And why shouldn't he be larger, he's more often quoted than his father or son, at least in my limited experience. His book is the primary work of The Brisker Method and the Brisker obsession with Rambam, after all.

  8. Sorry, but I have to disagree.

    1. The order is by seniority (generation), from right to left (their right).

    2. Reb Chaim is a bit bigger, but this reflects more on the the artistic skills of the author than on his intentions...

  9. I wouldn't read too much into the drawing. Perhaps the original Yasha Ber Soloveitchik was shorter than his son and grandson who are depicted chronologically going from our left to right.

  10. I'm interested in the micrography piece. Can you cite where this comes from? A book?



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