3 Historic Jewish Artists You Have to Know

For thousands of years, Jewish people have contributed enormously to our shared arts and culture. From actors to musicians, the impact Jewish people have had simply cannot be overstated.

Jewish art remains some of the most influential and ground-breaking artwork in history. Its influence can be seen across the board, from other painters to other artistic mediums including film and theater. If you feel like your knowledge of Jewish art isn’t as good as it could be, we’ve put together a list of three historic Jewish artists that any art lover needs to know. Check it out below.

Marc Chagall

Born in the Russian Empire in 1887, Marc Chagall is considered by some to be the most influential Jewish artist of all time. His painting spawned a generation of imitators and went on to inspire famous movements such as cubism, symbolism, and fauvism.

His paintings spanned a range of themes and styles, making extensive use of bold colors and abstract shapes to convey ideas and messages. His Jewish faith featured heavily in his work, with themes of Hasidic Jewish orthodoxy ever present in his art.

Chagall’s most famous painting is perhaps his iconic 1913 oil painting The Fiddler. In it, Chagall depicts a man playing a fiddle on the roof of a building, using striking color contrasts and odd shapes to draw in the eye. This painting is said to be the inspiration for the famous stage show The Fiddler on the Roof.

Aleksander Gierymski

Aleksander Gierymski was born in 1850 in Warsaw. He became known as a leading figure in the Realism art movement and is regarded by many as a pioneer for Impressionist art in Poland.

After moving to Rome and studying the Italian Renaissance works, Gierymski really came into his own and it was during his time spent living in Italy that he produced some of finest work. His realist paintings are perhaps his most famous, but Gierymski also flirted with impressionist colors and tones throughout his career. Some of his most well-known paintings are the Jewess with Oranges, painted in 1881, In the Arbour, painted in 1882, and View from Ossiach Lake in Carinthia, painted in 1886. 

Daniel Moritz Oppenheimer

Daniel Moritz Oppenheimer is hailed by many as one of the greatest ever Jewish painters. He was born in Germany in the year 1800, enrolling at the Munich Academy of Arts at the age of seventeen. He soon became renowned for his expert use of color to convey feeling and emotion. As a result, he was regularly commissioned as a portrait figure, including for powerful and influential figures such as members of the Rothschild family.

Some of his most famous works include The Return of the Jewish Volunteer from the Wars of Liberation, and The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara.


Any art lover worth their salt needs to know about how important and influential Jewish artists have been throughout history. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it does contain some of the most famous and most pioneering Jewish painters the world has seen.