Jakob Steinhardt was born in the then remote, largely Polish town of Zerkow in the Posen District of Germany. Loss of his father at an early age and education in a Berlin boarding school engendered a deep nostalgia for the tiny houses and human warmth of his native Jewish town, a quality found in much of his later work. His mother, encouraging his artistic bent, eventually helped him be accepted as a pupil of Corinth, whom Steinhardt later idolized. A year in Paris opened his horizons, but caused him to eventually reject the impressionists: together with Meidler and Janthur he founded the "Pathetiker" group very early in the German expressionist movement. Running afoul of the Nazis, he fled to Tel-Aviv and then Jerusalem in the early 30s, eventually becoming Director of the Graphics Department at the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in 1949. Known primarily for his inciteful woodcuts of Jewish life, his works today hang in museums and collections around the world.

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