Soldier; Oil on Canvas 1942, 32X46 cm
Menachem Shemi was born in 1896 in Bobruisk, Belarus. Between the years 1912-1913 he studied at the Art Academy of Odessa. In 1913 he immigrated to Palestine and joined the Bezalel movement. There, he aspired to find his unique voice – a combination of the Eastern-European artistic values of his youth, along with the new spirit of Jewish-Israeli painting. Throughout most of his life he wished to portray the “Israeli” experience – the atmosphere, colors and landscapes of the country. Shemi is considered to be one of the founding fathers of Israeli painting.