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Isaac Snowman | Genre painter

Isaac Snowman (1873-1947) was an Anglo-Jewish artist who made Jewish cultural themes his subject.

Early life

He was educated at the City of London School. In 1890 he entered the Royal Academy School, where he gained a free medal, and afterward a scholarship in the Institution of British Artists.
He showed his interest in Jewish matters by his drawings A Difficult Passage in the Talmud and The Blessing of Sabbath Lights, as well as by his Early Morning Prayer in the Synagogue.

His older brother Jacob Snowman was a London medical doctor and prominent mohel, who circumcised Charles, Prince of Wales and possibly other members of the British Royal Family.
His younger brother was Emanuel Snowman, the jeweller, politician and community leader.


In that year, 1897, he formed a group of English Jews known as the Maccabaeans, including Israel Zangwill and Herbert Bentwich, which undertook a pilgrimage to Palestine in the same year.
Of his paintings, which were devoted mainly to portraits and domestic views, Children's Voices (1901) attracted a great deal of attention, and The Bride (1904) was very popular at the time.
He also exhibited a study of Sardanapalus, as well as The Wailing-Place at Jerusalem and The Proclamation of Joseph as Ruler of Egypt.

Personal life

Isaac Snowman was married to Pearl Alexander at the North London Synagogue on 13 September 1898.
According to the report in The Times the marriage was never a happy one for the wife owing to the husband's exaggerated views on the subject of "wifely obedience".
They lived in Algiers and Hampstead, and after their son died they adopted a daughter.
In August 1907, Isaac Snowman left for Africa to execute a commission for the King of Dahomey. Subsequently, Pearl filed for divorce on grounds of statutory desertion and adultery, which was granted in June 1909.
Isaac meantime continued to build his career. He was commissioned to paint portraits of King George V and Queen Mary, and it was said he was one of the Queen's favourite artists. 21] Serious artworks enabled him to commission the first house on the now know Hocroft Estate to be built in Ranulf Road off Finchley Road.

The house, now number 3, included dedicated artists work space: completed in about 1911, was for many years simply known as ‘The Studio’. Isaac sent five works to the R.A. from this 3 Ranulf Road.
This area would have been well known to him, as it was just a few minutes walk from his old home in Fortune Green Road.
Isaac Snowman moved to Jerusalem, where he had a studio over the Damascus Gate. In the riots that occurred in Jerusalem on 2 November 1921, Snowman encountered a mob and, while trying to make his way through with two friends, was stabbed.


The outbreak of the Second World War found Snowman on a visit to England and his failing health prevented him from returning to his home in Jerusalem.
Isaac Snowman died peacefully on 11 February 1947, and his funeral was held the following day at Willesden Jewish Cemetery. | Source: © Wikipedia

Isaac Snowman (1874-1947) was born in St Pancras, London, into a Jewish family. He was educated at the City of London School and went on to study at the Royal Academy of Art, where he gained a free medal and then a scholarship for the Institution of British Artists.
In 1897, he formed a group of English Jews known as the Maccabeans, who undertook a pilgrimage to Palestine that year. Snowman mainly painted portraits and genre subjects around the theme of Judaism.
Of his paintings, the most notable are Children’s Voices (1901) and The Bride (1904).

In 1907, Snowman left England for Africa to execute a commission for the King of Dahomey, and he subsequently divorced from his wife.
He then moved to a studio overlooking the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, and was stabbed during the riots in Jerusalem in 1921. The outbreak of World War Two led Snowman back to England.
His ill health prevented his return to Jerusalem, and he died in London in 1947.
Between 1893-1919, he exhibited 25 works at the Royal Academy. | Source: © Jewish Lives Project

Isaac Snowman (1874-1947) è nato a St Pancras, Londra, in una famiglia ebrea. Ha studiato alla City of London School e ha proseguito gli studi presso la Royal Academy of Art, dove ottenne una medaglia gratuita e poi una borsa di studio per l'Institution of British Artists.
Nel 1897 formò un gruppo di ebrei inglesi conosciuti come i Maccabei, che quell'anno intraprese un pellegrinaggio in Palestina. Il pupazzo di neve dipinse principalmente ritratti e soggetti di genere attorno al tema dell'ebraismo.
Tra i suoi dipinti, i più notevoli sono Children's Voices (1901) e The Bride (1904).

Nel 1907, Snowman lasciò l'Inghilterra per l'Africa per eseguire una commissione per il re del Dahomey, e successivamente divorziò dalla moglie.
Si trasferì quindi in uno studio con vista sulla Porta di Damasco a Gerusalemme, e fu accoltellato durante i disordini a Gerusalemme nel 1921.
Lo scoppio della seconda guerra mondiale riportò Snowman in Inghilterra.
La sua cattiva salute impedì il suo ritorno a Gerusalemme e morì a Londra nel 1947.
Tra il 1893-1919 espose 25 opere alla Royal Academy. | Fonte: © Jewish Lives Project