Yitshak Frenkel - Frenel, 1899-1981
1899- Born in Odessa, Ukraine. As the great grandson of Rabbi
Levi Itzack of Berdichev.
1917- Studying Art at the Art Academy of Odessa, studied under
the painter Alexandra Ekster.
1919- Sailed to Israel on the ship «Ruslan», with
the first settlers of the third « Alia» (wave of
immigration) Visited this year for the first time in Safed which
he made his home some years later.
1920- Established in Jaffa the artists cooperative Hatomer
and also established artists studio in Herzlia gymnasium
where evening classes where given in paintings and sculptures.
He took part in the first art exhibition in Israel, and exhibited
abstract paintings. Towards the end of 1920 Frenkel traveled
to Egypt where he exhibited of his work and continued to Paris.
1920- Perfected his studies in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts,
and at the Grande Chaumière where he studied sculpting
at the studio of the sculptor BourdeIle, and at the studio of
the painter Matisse. He was in close contact with the artists
of the Ecole de Paris, and his paintings at this period were
1924- Exhibited at the Salon des Independants, and Mondrian acquired
two of his paintings.
1925- Again in Israel. He was considered a radical artist in
artistic tendencies. He established the Masad and Eged studios
of art and established and directed the studio of painting arts
of the Histradut in Yavne St., Tel Aviv, where the influence
from Paris was clearly visible.
Among his students: Shimshon Holtsman, Mordechay Levanon, David
Hendler, Joseph Kossonogi, Tsiona Tajar, Genia Berger, Nehamia
Shtenzel, etc. Along with them were Betsalel students: Avigdor
Stemastky, Yehezkel Streichman, Moshe Castel, Leon Fein, Arie
Aroch and Aharon Avni. They were exposed at the studio to French
influence, and most of them traveled to Paris to study at the
end of the 20's and at the 30's.
1926- At an exhibition at Haohel he exhibited some abstract paintings,
compositions of geometrical forms, and along with them were naturalistic
works. At this period there are signs of expressionistic tendency
in his work, mainly in his choice of colors.
1929- Traveled again to Paris. His expressionism style was being
crystallized. Belongs to the Ecole de Paris.
1934- Returns to Israel. Opens again the studio in Tel Aviv.
Makes Safed his home. He is the first artist to settle
in this town, 14 years before the Artists Colony was established
there. He abandons completely the abstract style.
Designs the adloyada carnival in Tel Aviv.
1936- Designs sets and costumes for the Haohel theatre. Until
1949 he engages in this work both in this theatre and at Habima
theatre. He also paints portraits of famous actors of the theatre.
1937- Paints Israel to its length and width: Safed, Jerusalem,
Tel Aviy, the Negev and Galilee. Makes about 13 exhibitions on
the motif of Safed until 1950.
1948- Records a historical moment in the state of Israel : The
first meeting of the Kneset, and the first meeting of the military
committee- Tsahal. He also makes 120 portraits of the first members
of the Kneset.
1949- One of the establishers of The Artists Colony of Safed.
His house becomes an academy of Arts. in Venice
1950- Exhibits at the first and second Biennial, representing
1952- Again in Paris. Creates Vitrage (windows glass-work) works
as ordered by the Baroness Alix de Rothshild at Normandie in
He is considered one of the most important Jewish painters
of the Ecole de Paris, along with Soutine, Mogdiliani, Kikoine,
Kremegne, Manne Katz and Paskin.
He presents his work in one-man shows in Paris and in the world
1960- Has one-man shows and takes part in group exhibitions in
museums and galleries in Europe, America, South Mrica, and Asia.
Since then he lives in Paris and uses his house in Safed as a
1973- The Ytshak Frenel (Frenkel) Museum is opened officially
in his house in Safed, where his works of 1920-1981 are exhibited.
1979- One-man show at the famous Orangerie, celebrating
his 80'th birthday.
1981- Died in Tel Aviv and was buried in Safed.
Museum Frenel-Frenkel, Tet-Zain St. n0 16, Colony of Artists,
Tel: 00972 (0) 46920235.