views updated


MANÉ-KATZ (originally Emanuel Katz ; 1894–1962), French painter. Mané-Katz was born in Kremenchug, Ukraine. In 1913 he went to study in Paris. He returned to Russia during World War i, working and exhibiting in Petrograd. After the October Revolution of 1917 he returned to Kremenchug, where he taught art. As the city was the scene of continued fighting during the Civil War, there was little chance for him to work and in 1921 he migrated to Paris. He painted assiduously, and a decade later won a Gold Medal at the Paris World's Fair for his painting "The Wailing Wall." In 1939, Mané-Katz was mobilized and on the fall of France was imprisoned briefly by the Germans. He managed to get to the United States, but returned to Paris after the war. Mané-Katz was an eminent Jewish representative of the School of *Paris. His output was prodigious. He painted so fervently and with so little concern for detail that he seems to be carried away by his own exuberance. His color is sometimes blatant, but rarely coarse. His smaller works, particularly those of the 1920s, show an intensity of expression and a baroque ecstasy. The subject matter of his early works is exclusively Jewish – ḥasidic rabbis, talmudic students, fiddlers and beggars of the Pale of Settlement with meager bony faces and deep-set eyes, the same haggard figures placed against an almost barren background. He later painted the sights of Paris, orchestras, bullfights, the scenery of the Riviera, portraits, and numerous flower pieces, usually with a childlike delight in raw colors. He made several sculptures. He died in Israel and left his collection, including many fine specimens of Jewish ritual art, to the city of Haifa.


M. Ragon, Mané-Katz (Fr. and Eng., 1961); A. Werner, Mané-Katz (Eng., 1960); J. Aimot, Mané-Katz (Fr., 1933).

[Alfred Werner]