JOSEF SUDEK (1896-1976) Gravestone of Rabbi Lowe, the Old Jewish Cemetery, Prague. Pigment print, the image measuring 8 3/4x8 inches (22.2x20.3 cm.), the sheet 14 3/4x11 1/8 inches (37.5x28.3 cm.), with Sudek's signature and a date, in pencil, on recto, and with a partial title, in pencil and in Czech, and a Foto Sudek hand stamp, on verso. 1932
Josef Sudek, the "poet of Prague," was known for his lyrical photographs, including Pictorial landscapes, still lifes of everyday objects that were arranged in his studio, views from through dewy windows, panoramic scenes of the city, and luminous images of cemeteries and parks.
Sudek's selective use of the pigment process, in the 1930s, resulted in a series of rare prints of his favorite images that are renowned for their painterly qualities. Each pigment print is unique or one-of-a-kind. The technique was a highly labor intensive process in which the photographer employed brushes to apply a subtle range of pigments, thereby creating photographic images on fine art papers.
Prague's Old Jewish Cemetery, which was founded in the 15th-century, is the resting place of 100,000 individuals, with 12,000 headstones. The oldest burial date listed is 1439, though the cemetery was probably in use long before that, and the most recent burial was in 1787.
Prague was at the center of Mittel Europa's Jewish scholasticist movement, and some of the foremost figures in Jewish history are buried here. Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel (1526?-1609) was an important Talmudic scholar, Jewish mystic and philosopher who, for most of his life, served as a leading rabbi in Prague.
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