An Important Lesson

In this painting a French artist invented a Middle Eastern scene in his European studio

Auguste-Alexandre Hirsch

The French Academic artist Auguste-Alexandre Hirsch (1833-1912) achieved success with his paintings of Orientalist subject matter. In this composition, a rabbi is explaining a point to two studying boys seated on the floor at left. Studio props, which include Oriental rugs and a mother-of-pearl inlaid wood table, are used to suggest a Middle Eastern setting. The hanging lamp (Judenstern) and bench-type Hanukkah menorah seen at upper right are European, however.

Name: An Important Lesson
Artist: Auguste-Alexandre Hirsch
Origin: France, late 19th century
Medium: Oil on Canvas, Painting
Dimensions: 34 1/4 in.x 45 in.
Credit: Gift of Dr. Milton Ratner
Catalog Number: 81.49