Glicenstein, Enrico

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GLICENSTEIN, ENRICO (Henoch ; 1870–1942), sculptor, painter, and print maker. The son of a tombstone carver, Glicenstein was born in Turek, Poland, and began studying for the rabbinate. After working as a sign painter and wood-carver in Lodz he went to study art in Munich, where he won the Prix de Rome in 1894 and 1897. He went to live in Italy in 1897 with his wife, Helen, daughter of the painter Samuel Hirshenberg, but had to leave the country in 1928 because of his refusal to join the Fascist Party and settled in New York. He died in an automobile accident. Glicenstein, who had been elected an honorary member of the Société des Beaux-Arts in 1906 on Rodin's recommendation, had one-man shows in nearly all the art centers of the world including the 15th Venice Biennale (1928). Glicenstein was predominantly a carver. The majority of his works were done in wood, mostly oak or walnut. Spurning mechanical aids, he preferred the arduous, time-consuming method of cutting directly into his material. He created stern monolithic pieces, in solid, sturdy forms, devoid of any unnecessary detail. Like the expressionists, he felt free to exaggerate, to abbreviate, to elongate, and to distort, although he showed that a sculpture can be expressive while maintaining a firm equilibrium between form and content. Form is maintained, too, in Glicenstein's drawings, etchings, and his few paintings. As a draftsman, he was never indecisive. Likewise, the mastery of a knowledgeable hand is seen in the prints, cut with a needle into copper by vigorous strokes that aim straight to the core of a face, action, or scene. Among his dry points, more than 60 plates for the Book of Samuel mustbe singled out for mention. Among the outstanding men of his time who sat for Glicenstein's portrait busts were Ludwig *Mond, Hermann *Cohen, Gabriele D'Annunzio, Sir Israel *Gollancz, Ignace Paderewski, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. His works were acquired by many museums and a Glicenstein Museum containing his library was established in Safed, Israel. His son, emanuel romano (1897–1985), was a painter. Born in Rome, he changed his name and in 1928 immigrated to New York with his family. Romano was best known for his portraits but also did murals for many buildings. He was an outstanding colorist.


J. Cassou, Glicenstein (Eng., 1958), album with introd. by J. Cassou; F. Orestano, Enrico Glicenstein e la sua arte (1926).

[Alfred Werner]