Guttmann, Robert

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GUTTMANN, ROBERT (1880–1942), Czech primitive painter. During his life, Guttmann was better known for his unusual personality than for his paintings. He was a familiar figure of the Jewish scene in Prague as he walked from one coffeehouse to another, his work rolled up under his arm, arranging impromptu exhibitions of his drawings and watercolor paintings. His subjects were mainly people, landscapes, and street scenes. However, his work was not taken seriously until after his death in the Lodz ghetto in 1942. It was only when his work was exhibited after World War ii, that he was recognized as an original, genuine Naive artist whose works – most of them now in the Jewish Museum in Prague – were widely admired at a number of posthumous exhibitions. He was a lifelong Zionist. At the age of 17 he walked from Prague to Basle to attend the First Zionist Congress, and he made his way on foot to all subsequent Congresses held during his lifetime.


A. Heller, Guttmann: eine psychologische Studie ueber den Maler Robert Guttmann (1932).

[Avigdor Dagan]