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The Image of Sheep in Art by Menashe Kadishman

Please find the selection of image of sheep by Menashe Kadishman

Although widely recognized as a sculptor, Menashe Kadishman is famous for hundreds of portraits of sheep each one different from another. In big deep sad eyes of sheep spectators can find tranquility and understanding. These paintings tell about nothing and everything at the same time. Everyone has personal appreciation and unique feeling from each artwork depending on the mood and atmosphere. For example, in “Three crowned sheep” we see three a bit different sights of three sheep crowned with multicolor strokes. The art of Kadishman carols the beauty of his country and is redolent with Biblical themes. His unique approach and spirit can be partly explained by artist’s belief: art grows from feelings and not rational calculations alone.


The first major appearance of the sheep in his art was at the 1978 Venice Biennale. In particular, Menashe Kadishman presented an actual flock of sheep and himself as shepherd. He colored the flock and described as a living art. Colorized in various bright color flock can be found frequently in paintings as well. For example, “Flock of sheep” exhibited in Kings gallery is full of mysteries and delight of beauty of Israel. In the background we can distinguish silhuettes of sheep made with thin white lines. The sheep seem to glow due to contrast contours.

Role of colors

Significantly, the author transfers his message through colors. In “Crowned sheep” we see two almost identical sheep heads, however, there is a difference in tones. Kadishman performed the left one in warm colors with the accent on beige. The other one has mostly blue and green tones and, therefore, is much more cold. Furthermore, the blue sheep is like an interim phase in transformation process into the next painting “Blue sheep head”, which is frightening. Especially, viewers feel this due to the paint leak and small light window on the right side. The window seems to be getting smaller and smaller, destroying the way off.

The effect of saturated colors and slight turn of the head of “Circled sheep” make this piece sinister and enigmatic. Sheep is between the flames of fire and the wave of water, that strive upward from the lower part.

Kings Gallery is a leading fine art gallery established in Jerusalem in 1995. We strive to collect and sell the highest quality historic and contemporary Israeli and International art. Especially, the gallery specializes in artists from the early period of the 1920’s. In addition, Kings Gallery features leading up-and-coming young artists who will definitely be prominent names in the next few years.

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