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“The Shepherd” by Menashe Kadishman

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The image of shepherd is common in the art of Menashe Kadishman. The images of grazing flocks and shepherds appear in his art due to the experience as a shepherd in a kibbutz (a collective Israeli community) in his youth. For instance, his sculpture “The shepherd” impresses with its subtlety. Kadishman connected all the figures and formed a unified streamlined black creature.


Artist associated himself with the shepherd, as at the 1978 Venice Biennale he presented an actual flock of sheep and himself leaded it. He colored the flock and described as a living art. 

In general, a shepherd is a religious symbol. Inter alia, Moses as leader was regarded as shepherd of Israel. He could not enter to the promised land, so he turned to G-d and asked that the people not be “as sheep that have no shepherd”. However, he was shepherd not only in the figurative sense, Moshe worked as a shepherd before coming to Egypt to lead the Jewish people to Israel.

The story about Moshe’s successor shows the difference between roles of the shepherd and savior, whome was Pinchas. Perhaps, this story has a reflection in the plot of “The Shepherd” painting.

Painting “The Shepherd”

In the right part of this artwork there is a face of an enormous figure encircling and flowing around everything. Moreover, he even seems to blow winds and organize artistic reality. The figure protects and control the center of the composition depicting a flock of sheep. Multicolored airflows appear to be a part of this element, that contains inside the whole space. In the left part of the painting there is another silhoutte, probably, a shepherd, who directs the sheep to the sovereign of this realm.

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. The gallery specializes primarily in artists from the early period of the 1920’s. Besides, Kings Gallery features leading up-and-coming young artists who will definitely be prominent names in the next few years.

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