“Ruth and Naomi – Reinvented” – Oil Painting by Jacob Pichhadze
Artist Jacob Pichhadze is known for, among other things, his portrayal of his vision of the “Jewish woman”. These images have been described by commentators as “Jewish Madonna” icons. “Ruth and Naomi – Reinvented”, an oil painting from 2004, is Pichhadze’s modernization of his classical motif.
The following are selected commentaries about Jacob’s depiction of the “Jewish woman” motif:
“In Israel he also introduced the ‘Jewish icon’. He had been obliged to paint icons (holy pictures) for churches in the Soviet Union. ‘There’s no reason why we can’t have Jewish icons,’ he insists. Working in pastels, he drew biblical women of mesmeric grace, tinting them in luminous tones. A portrait of Ruth and Naomi reflects the serenity of a true icon.” (Canadian Jewish News, Dec 9, 1993)
“The ‘pictures of women’ remind us of Madonnas or religious paintings – the same style, the same creative manner, except that the women are typical Georgian Jewish women, personifications of virtue and modesty. Jakow’s heroine doesn’t particularly demonstrate her femininity. She is dressed unpretentiously in the traditional dark clothes of the Georgian woman. She is reserved – the fire of her passions deeply buried.” (Israel Review, Aug 20, 1982)
“All of the paintings of Jacob Pichhadze are saturated with deep psychological content. In his “The Triad” which is executed in Pastel using a novel technique, each figure’s fantasy of future days to come is brought to life. In each of the figures’ faces and expressions, Pichhadze portrays the depth and wealth of their innermost thoughts and the painting becomes rather than a mere composition of female portraits, a depiction of both the body and soul of women, whom the artist revers to be the most wonderful creation of this world.” (Shalom Toronto, Feb 6, 2011)
“Every Jewish women – a Madonna” (Hadashot, Nov 22, 1984)
“The portraits of the Israeli artist receive their particular charm from the bright lush colors and the play with light and shadow contrasts. Characteristic for his paintings is the delicate precision and sharp transition between colors. His play with light and shadow has earned him the praise of as an ‘Israeli Rembrandt’” (Memminger Zaitung, Marz 13, 1982)