Yehuda Pen

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Jehuda Pen, 1905

Yehuda Pen ( Russian Юдель Пэн ; born May 24, Jul. / 5. June  1854 . Greg in Nowoaleksandrowsk (again today Zarasai , Lithuania ); † 28 February or March 1. 1937 in Vitebsk ) was a Jewish - Lithuanian painter and teacher and one of the most important figures of the Jewish Renaissance in Belarusian art at the beginning of the 20th century.

life and work

Yehuda Pen was born on May 24, 1854 in the city of Novoaleksandrovsk. His talent for drawing became apparent early on and as early as 1867 he was apprenticed to a painter in neighboring Dvinsk (today Daugavpils , Latvia ). In 1879 he went from there to Saint Petersburg , where he was initially denied admission to the art academy due to a lack of knowledge of the Russian language . After two years of private study, he was accepted in 1882 and studied with Pavel Chistjakov . After graduating in 1886, he returned to Zarasai. There he could not find employment and went to Riga , where he found a patron in Baron Korff .

In 1890 he visited Ilya Repin in Vitebsk and in 1896, at the invitation of the governor there, opened the first private art school on Belarusian soil - the Jewish Art School. His students there included Ilya Masel , Jefim Minin , Oskar Meschtschaninow , Marc Chagall , Ossip Zadkine , El Lissitzky and Ilya Tschaschnik . He placed particular emphasis on learning the basic techniques and drawing. His students often sketched the life of the poor Jewish shtetl that Pen saw himself as its representative.

In 1899 he exhibited his own works for the first time in Vitebsk, followed by an exhibition in St. Petersburg in 1908. Pen was accepted into the local artists' guild. He was also able to establish himself as a respected artist and teacher in the Soviet Union . In 1927 he received the Honored Jewish Artist Award .

On the night of February 28 to March 1, 1937 , Pen was murdered in his home in Vitebsk. The exact background of the crime has never been clarified. After his death, a gallery with his works was set up in Vitebsk. Today they are owned by the Vitebsk Art Museum and the State Art Museum of Belarus.

Picture gallery


  • WA Shishanov: Vitebsky Musej sowremennowo iskusstwa. Istorija sosdanija i kollekzi 1918–1941 . Medisont, Minsk 2007, p. 144 [1]
  1. Laima Raubiškienė. Zarasai laiko vilnyse . Utena 2006, p. 54
  2. Laima Raubiškienė. Zarasai laiko vilnyse . Utena 2006, p. 54

Web links

Commons : Yury Pen  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files