AUCTION 32 | Thursday, March 23rd, 2006 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Autographed Letters, Manuscripts, Graphics and Ceremonial Art

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Lot 353
Shneur Zalman of Liadi


Lithograph 12 3/4 x 18 inches

Est: $700 - $900
R. Shneur Zalman ben Baruch (1745-1813) of Liozhna (and later Liadi) was the founder of the Chabad school of Chassidism, which flourished in Lithuania and Belarus. Legend has it that this portrait of R. Shneur Zalman, known affectionately as the “Alter Rebbe” (Old Rabbi), was painted by a non-Jewish artist when the rabbi was imprisoned in St. Petersburg. Although this icon of the “Alter Rebbe” is still venerated in many a Jewish home, of late, researchers have uncovered the fact that the supposed likeness is a fabrication, the result of collusion in the year 1889 between Shemaryahu Schneersohn of Warsaw (a descendant of R. Shneur Zalman), his brother-in-law, the maskilic writer Mordecai Teitelbaum (author “Harav mi-Ladi u-Miflegeth Chabad”), and - Boris Schatz, founder of the Bezalel Art School in Jerusalem. The signature of the artist “K.N. Glovatschefsky” is a fiction. See Shaul Shimon Deutsch, “The Story behind the Portrait of R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi,” Chasidic Historical Review, Vol. I (December 1995), pp. 1-13; Shmuel Krauss, “Gilgulah shel Temunah,” Beis Moshiach, 29 Kislev 5757/1997, pp. 21-28