Nahum Gutman Museum of Art - English מוזיאון נחום גוטמן לאמנות Image Map

Our self-portrait looking backwards

It would seem we are all familiar with painter, illustrator and writer Nahum Gutman, but when we try to organize his body of work chronologically, we discover that it is hard to arrange along a timeline. What we believe to be an early work is actually a later one. His own adventures, together with historical events were written many years later and were based on written sources, and what seems as if it might have been painted as an observer at the time of an event was actually painted from memory.


Gutman replicated, transposed, mixed places and times, cut out illustrations and used them in new ones; he painted his early paintings within his later ones and repainted others from a higher viewpoint; he edited, changed and modified the wording of his books from one edition to the next, and also changed their titles. The Land of Israel is seared into the memory of four generations of Israelis according to the laws of Gutman, and his work is one of the sources that inform the images of the past in our collective memory.


Our soul is brimming with the Gutman-style images of the legendary, mythological Israel that was once here, beyond the dunes of sand, the Israel we yearn for and dream of. And who wants to awaken from a dream?


Monica Lavi



Image: Dror Varshevski

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