Art-Nouveau painter, photographer and illustrator Ephraim Moses Lillian was born in Galicia on 23 May 1874. He was initially apprenticed to a sign-writer before studying at Krakow Academy of Art from 1889-1893, including two years under the Polish master Jan Matejko; he also studied in Vienna and Munich, moving to Berlin in 1894. His principal medium was etching and he was a chief contributor to the avant-garde magazine Die Jugend (the periodical that gave its name to the Jugendstil or Art Nouveau), which also awarded him a photography prize in 1896. From the late 1890s, Lilien became an ardent Zionist believing in the future of a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine – Eretz Israel – and met Theodor Herzl at the Fifth Zionist Congress in Basel in 1901. In 1904, together with Boris Schatz, he dedicated his energies to the establishment of the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem. In 1906 along with his new wife he immigrated to Jerusalem to assist Schatz with the realisation of their dream and opened Bezalel later that year. His work concentrated on Jewish and Zionist themes, reinterpreting traditional Jewish motifs within a contemporary style, and he illustrated a number of books. Ephraim Moses Lilien died in Badenweiler, Germany on 17 June 1925.
SELECTED EXHIBITION HISTORY
The Art of Prayer: Featuring Rabbis, Scholars and Scribes
Etz Chayim Gallery
Homeless & Hidden 1: World Class Collection Homeless & Hidden
Ben Uri Gallery