Moritz Oppenheim’s life and work epitomize German Jewry’s journey from traditional life to modernity. Born in the ghetto of Hanau, he studied academic painting, an opportunity previously unavailable to Jews. As a portrait painter in Frankfurt, he received commissions from both Jews and non-Jews and enjoyed the patronage of the Rothschilds. In this work, one of the earliest self-portraits by a Jewish artist, a young Oppenheim depicts himself proudly holding his palette, a vivid testimony to the emergence of Jewish artists during the 19th century.


  • Title: Self-Portrait
  • Creator: Moritz Daniel Oppenheim
  • Date Created: 1814-16
  • Location: Germany, Europe
  • Physical Dimensions: 38 11/16 × 32 7/8 in. (98.3 × 83.5 cm)
  • Provenance: the artist. Henry Oppenheim (artist's nephew), Germany, by 1870; Henny Bachman (Henry's daughter), by 1940s; Kate and Max Stern, New York (Henny's daughter and son-in-law), before 1953; sold by Max to Fred Levy (Kate Stern's cousin), late 1960s, after her death; Stuart Levy (Fred's son); sold to TJM, 2008
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: https://thejewishmuseum.org/about-this-site#terms-conditions
  • External Link: View this object at thejewishmuseum.org
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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