Solomon, Solomon Joseph

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SOLOMON, SOLOMON JOSEPH (1860–1927), English painter. Solomon was born in London where he settled and attained considerable social and professional popularity. When in 1918 he was appointed president of the Royal Society of British Artists, he wrote to a Jewish friend: "I feel I ought to accept the presidency of the rba, because I am a Jew." During World War i, Solomon developed an interest in camouflage and as a result was made lieutenant colonel (1916) and was sent to France on a special mission. On his return he established a camouflage training school. He wrote Strategic Camouflage (1920). He was active in Jewish social life, was a founder and the first president of the Maccabean Society (1891), and was an active supporter of the Ben Uri Art Society.

Solomon painted portraits of many eminent people, including Queen Victoria, Israel *Zangwill (1894), Heinrich *Graetz (1887), and Solomon *Schechter (1902). In his fashionable paintings of Edwardian society, he revived the grand manner of the great English portrait painters, employing in addition certain Impressionist devices. He established his reputation with a series of Old Testament subjects with backgrounds inspired by his visit to the Middle East. He painted decorative panels for the Royal Exchange and the House of Lords and mythological and allegorical scenes in the taste of the period. Allegory (1904) has been interpreted as representing the ultimate triumph of Judaism as the world religion. He wrote one theoretical work, The Practice of Oil Painting (1910).

Solomon's sister, lily delissa joseph (1863–1940), pioneer cyclist, motorist, and airplane pilot, was also a painter.


O.S. Phillips, Solomon J. Solomon (Eng., 1933); dnb, 795–6 (incl. bibl.); Naményi, in: Roth Art, 586–7; M. Buber (ed.), Juedische Kuenstler (1903), 141–53.