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 Yehuda Pen

Born:   5 June 1854
Deceased:   1 March 1937

Russian and Belarusian artist, art teacher, a prominent figure of the Jewish Renaissance in art of the early 20th century. He


Yudl Moiseevich Pen was born in the city of Novoaleksandrovsk (nowadays Zarasay, Lithuania) on May 24 (on June 5), 1854. 
An orphan from an early age, he worked as a painter's apprentice in Dvinsk (nowadays Daugavpils, Latvia) from 1867. He moved to St. Petersburg in 1879 and entered the Academy of Arts in 1880. He studied under P. P. Chistyakov and N. A. Laveretsky. Upon graduation in 1886 he lived in Dvinsk and Riga, where he got acquainted with the baron N. A. Korf and was invitied to the baron’s Vitebsk manor frequented by his artistic friends, the artist Ivan Repin among them.
In 1891 Yudl Moiseevich Pen moved to Vitebsk and a year later founded his private drawing and painting school that existed till 1919. It was Russia's first Jewish art school and was transformed by Marc Chagall into the Vitebsk Art School that existed till 1941. 

Yudl Moiseevich Pen taught lots of prominent artists, including Raymond Breinin, El Lissitzky, Eva Levina-Rozengolts, Ilya Mazel, Oscar Meshchaninov, Aleksanteri Ahola-Valo, Efim Minin, Osip Tsadkin, Marc Chagall, Elena Kabishcher, Zaire Azgur, Solomon Yudovin, David Yakerson, and Ilya Chashnik. Exhibitions of Yudl Moiseevich Pen and his students were helf in 1907 and 1914.
Yudl Moiseevich Pen was killed at his home in Vitebsk in the night of February 28 to March 1, 1937. The murder circumstances remain unknown. The artist was buried on the Staro-Semyonovsky Cemetery in Vitebsk.


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