Shmuel Charuvi, lived between the years 1897-1965. He was born in Ukraine and raised by a Traditional family. In 1910, he was sent to study art in Odessa, Ukraine where he met Professor Boris Schatz. In an art exhibition organized by the Bezalel students in Odessa, he was fascinated by the Zionist idea and decided to immigrate to Israel. He studied at the Bezalel Academy from 1914 when he was only 17 years old.
In those hard years of World War I, Charuvi belonged to the charismatic group of students (including Menahem Shemi, Nahum Gutman, Joseph Levin, and others) who were to shape the new Israeli art. In 1953 Haruvi defined his artistic mission as: “Drawing the Israeli landscape as I imagined it from afar”.
His Eastern European childhood is evident in his romantic use of color and brush stroke, but he is also an ardent realist influenced by Abel Pann who brought the Paris spirit to Bezalel. Pann led his students out of the studio and into nature, effecting their fateful introduction to the Mediterranean sunlight. Thereafter, landscapes would no longer be “holy places”, but natural experiences in eastern light and color.
Charuvi’s paintings depict classical bucolic scenes of Israel and the country’s holy places in warm tones. He rarely includes human figures in his work, and works to preserve the idealistic image of Israel before contemporary reconstruction. Charuvi was endlessly interested in the transience of time and often painted vanishing landscapes, clouds and shadows. He was a founder of the Hebrew Artists’ Association.