Itzak Holtz

Itshak Jack Holtz (Hebrew: יצחק הולץ‎‎; also known as Itzhak Holtz and Issac Holtz) (born 1925) is a Polish-born and an Israeli and American Orthodox Jewish painter, who is best known for his paintings and drawings that depict traditional scenes of Jewish life.

Holtz has stated that his artwork, which primarily but not exclusively depicts scenes of Jewish spirituality and tradition, is driven by his Orthodox Jewish beliefs. He said, “You have to live that religious life to fully capture it on canvas.” He has been classified in the school of genre painting, often depicting street scenes of ordinary people in everyday Jewish life in the back alleys and markets of Jerusalem neighborhoods such as Me’ah Shearim and Geula; and in New York neighborhoods and hamlets such as Monsey, Boro Park and Williamsburg. Along with street scenes, his work includes portraits of scribes, tailors, cobblers and fishmongers, and images such as shtetls, lighthouses, and wedding scenes. He started out painting mostly portraits in order to support his family, before expanding to include street scenes. His beloved subject matter is painting scenes of Jewish life, his childhood memories when his mother took him shopping for the Sabbath to the markets of Meah Shearim, left a deep impression on him and influenced many of his works. Holtz has experimented in the abstract, but then reverted to representational and figurative art to which he devoted himself exclusively. His Israeli street scenes are said to combine “an affectionate recollection of the past with the brilliance of the color of modern Israel.”

Throughout the years Holtz has created hundreds of works in many art mediums, including, genre scenes, portraits, still lifes and landscape scenery, his works are sought after by art collectors worldwide, and he has been called the greatest living Jewish artist. It is said that no artist ever explored the Jewish subject like Holtz.