Buchbinder, Szymon

Head of an Old Man/Głowa starca, Munich 1885
Head of an Old Man/Głowa starca, Munich 1885

Buchbinder, Szymon (Simeon Buchbinder), Polish painter, member of the “Munich School”. From 1883 in Munich; from 1897 resident in Berlin. *6.1.1853 Radzyń Podlaski, †1908? Berlin. Brother of the painter Józef Buchbinder. (1839-1909). He receives his first painting lessons from Stanisław Heymann (1843-1915) and Adam Malinowski (1829-1892) in Warsaw. From 1869 to 1871 he studies in the Warsaw drawing class/Klasa Rysunkowa under Wojciech Gerson (1831-1901), Rafał Hadziewicz (1803-1883) and Aleksandr Kamiński (Alexander Kaminski, 1823-1886). From 1871 he works as a set painter at the Court Opera in Vienna. 1873-78: he studies at the Vienna Art Academy under Eduard von Engerth (1818-1897) and Leopold Carl Müller (1834-1892). 1879-82: at the Cracow Academy of Fine Arts/Akademia Sztuk Pięknych w Krakowie in the masterclass of Jan Matejko (1838-1893). From 1883: resident in Munich. 1897: he goes to Berlin. Initially Buchbinder paints pictures from Polish history, clearly under the influence of Matejko 1883 (“Sigismund III of Poland as a Goldsmith”, exhibited in the Munich Glaspalast). Soon he prefers to concentrate on genre paintings of Polish Jewish life and court society. (“Jewish Merchant”, 1880; “Old Polish Townswoman”, 1881; “A Page playing at a Music Stand”, 1884). Under the influence of Dutch painting in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich (Frans van Mieris the elder, Gabriel Metsu, Gerard ter Borch), he paints gentlemen in 17th century Dutch costumes, people playing cards in Dutch interiors and other similar subjects, also portraits and landscapes. His works are mostly small format and miniatures painted in the finest detail with a hair brush. “With his highly developed technique, his themes, the subtle way in which he deals with the tiniest details and his painterly virtuosity in portraying material reality, he was viewed by contemporary critics as ‘absolutely unsurpassable in the Munich School’” (Münchner Maler im 19. Jahrhundert, 1981). His works can be found in the Art Museum in Łódź/Muzeum Sztuki w Łodzi, in the National Museum in Warsaw /Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw/Żydowski Instytut Historycznyim Emanuela Ringelbluma, and the Mishkan Museum of Art in Ein Harod.


Group exhibitions: 1874-83 Warsaw, Cracow: Society of the Friends of the Fine Arts/Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Sztuk Pięknych / 1883 Munich, Glaspalast

Further Reading: Münchner Maler im 19. Jahrhundert, vol. 1, Munich 1981, p. 142-144; Saur Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon, vol. 14, Munich/Leipzig 1996, p. 662

Online: Works at artyzm.com, http://artyzm.com/e_artysta.php?id=1073


Axel Feuß, March 2017

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    Head of an Old Man/Głowa starca, Munich 1885