Skip to content

Reuven Rubin

Beloosesky Gallery is interested in purchasing paintings or drawings by Reuven Rubin. 

Please call (917) 749-4577 or email us at


Reuven Rubin (Rubin Zelicovici) was a Romanian-born Israeli painter, celebrated as a pioneer in the Israeli art world. Born on November 13, 1893 in Galati, Romania. His paintings use radiant, earthy colors and simple techniques, reminiscent of the work of French-Russian artist Marc Chagall, to explore the biblical landscapes of his home in Israel and its folk history. He regularly drew the countryside and people who inhabited it, transforming his observations into more fantastical and dream-like scenes through his unique artistic vision. Rubin was one of the first Israeli artists to achieve international recognition.


Reuven Rubin was born to a poor Romanian Jewish Hasidic family. He was the eighth of 13 children. In 1912, he left for Ottoman-ruled Palestine to study art at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. Finding himself at odds with the artistic views of the Academy's teachers, he left for Paris, France, in 1913 to pursue his studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. At the outbreak of World War I, he was returned to Romania, where he spent the war years.


In 1921, he traveled to the United States with his friend and fellow artist, Arthur Kolnik, with whom he had shared a studio in Chernivtsi. In New York City, the two met artist Alfred Stieglitz, who was instrumental in organizing their first American show at the Anderson Gallery. Following the exhibition, in 1922, they both returned to Europe. In 1923, Rubin emigrated to Mandate Palestine.


In 1924, he was the first artist to hold a solo exhibition at the Tower of David in Jerusalem. That year he was elected chairman of the Association of Painters and Sculptors of Palestine. In Palestine, he became one of the founders of the new Eretz-Yisrael style. Recurring themes in his work were the biblical landscape, folklore and people, including Yemenite, Hasidic Jews and Arabs. Many of his paintings are sun-bathed depictions of Jerusalem and the Galilee. Rubin might have been influenced by the work of Henri Rousseau whose style combined with Eastern nuances, as well as with the neo-Byzantine art to which Rubin had been exposed in his native Romania. In accordance with his integrative style, he signed his works with his first name in Hebrew and his surname in Roman letters.


Reuven Rubin met his wife, Esther, in 1928, aboard a passenger ship to Palestine on his return from a show in New York City. She was a Bronx girl who had won a trip to Palestine in a Young Judea competition.


From the 1930s onwards, Rubin designed backdrops for Habima Theater, the Ohel Theater and other theaters. Reuven Rubin’s one-man show in 1932 launched the Tel Aviv Art Museum. In 1948, he became the first official Israeli diplomatic envoy (minister) to Romania. He served in this position until 1950.


Reuven Rubin died on October 13, 1974 in Tel Aviv, Israel. His house became the "Rubin House" Museum where all his works are shown.




1912 Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem

1913-14 École des Beaux Arts, Paris and Académie Colarossi, Paris


Awards and Prizes

1926 Awarded the Lord Plumer Prize

1945 Honorary Doctorate of Hebrew Letters, Jewish Institute of Religion, New York

1964 Rubin received an "honorary award" of the Dizengoff Prize for Painting.

1971 Awarded the "Artist of the year", University of Judaism, Los Angeles

1973 he was awarded the Israel Prize, for painting.


Museums and Public Collections

Museum of Modern Art, New York City

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

Rubin Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

The Jewish Museum, New York City




Born: Galati, Romania


Studied at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, Israel


Studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Artsand and Academie Colarossi in Paris, France


Returned to Romania where he spent the war years


Traveled to the United States where he met Alfred Stieglitz,


Established his studio in Tel Aviv, Israel


Emigrated to Palestine

Began designing scenery for theatres


Appointed chairman of the Association of Painters and Sculptors of Palestine


Became the first official Israeli diplomatic envoy to Romania


Received the Dizengoff Prize


Awarded the Israel Prize for life's work in art.


Died: Tel Aviv, Israel




"Selection of Rubin paintings from the Permanent collection", Rubin Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel (solo)


"Reuven Rubin's Early Years: 1914-23", The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel (solo)


Stern Gallery, Tel-Aviv, Israel


Rubin: "Home Visit", Rubin Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel (solo)


"Rubin paints for the Theater", Rubin Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel (solo)


"Rubin: a self portrait", Rubin Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel (solo)


"The early Rubin", Rubin Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel (solo)


"Rubin: Jerusalem Landscapes", Rubin Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel (solo)


"Rubin Portrays his Friends", Rubin Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel (solo)


"Rubin's Tel Aviv", Rubin Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel (solo)


"Retrospective", Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel (solo)

"Retrospective", Tel Aviv Museum, Israel (solo)

Galerie Mott, Geneva, Switzerland (solo)

Norton art Museum, Palm Beach, FL (solo)


"Retrospective", Wildenstein Galleries, New York, NY (solo)

Hatfield Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (solo)

Rosequist Gallery, Tucson, AZ (solo)


Grace Borgenicht Gallery, New York, NY

"Seven Painters from Israel", leading museums across the U.S.

Hatfield Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (solo)


O'Hana Gallery, London, UK (solo)


"Retrospective", Tel Aviv Museum, Israel (solo)


Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy


Stage designs for Habima and Ohel theaters in Tel Aviv


"Retrospective", Tel Aviv Museum, Israel (solo)


Milch Gallery, New York, NY

Hatfield Galleries, Los Angeles, CA

Gumps Gallery, San Francisco, CA

"Twentieth Century Portraits", Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Lillienfeld Gallery, New York, NY


Bignou Gallery, New York, NY


Steimazky Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel

Bach Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel

Arthur Tooth Gallery, London, UK

Bezalel, Jerusalem, Israel


Tel Aviv Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel (solo)


Montross Gallery, New York, NY

Stage designs for Habima and Ohel theaters in Tel Aviv, Israel


Arthur Tooth Gallery, London, UK (solo)


Beit Chelouche, Tel Aviv, Israel (solo)

Home of Sir Ronald Storrs, Jerusalem, Israel (solo)


Marcel Bernheim Gallery, Paris, France (solo)


The Citadel of David, Jerusalem, Israel (solo)

Herzlia high school, Tel Aviv, Israel (solo)

Regina Maria Gallery, Bucharest, Romania


Rubin Bucharest studio, Bucharest, Romania


Anderson Gallery, New York, NY (solo)