Born in Kreslawka, Latvia. Studied art in Odessa, moved to Paris in 1904 and continued his studies at the Grande Chaumiere Academy. for most of his life, Pann traveled between Russia, Poland, Paris, Egypt and Eretz Israel.
Abel Pann is considered one of the founding figures of Israeli art, best known as the most committed exponents of the Zionist art in its early days.
When Pann came to Eretz Israel in 1913, he was enchanted by the remarkable spirit of Jerusalem, and said that "it seemed to me that I had already seen that city. I felt as though I had returned to the city of my birth after deserting it for hundreds of years"...
It was in Jerusalem where he decided to devote himself to biblical paintings, which considered to be the core of his oeuvre. the iconography of Pann's biblical works is linked to the 19th century Orientalism, used by European artists such as Klimt, Gaugain and Matisse, who transformed and interpreted themes of the near East and North Africa. The east was regarded by those artists a world of violence- idyllic, romantic, and drenched with sexuality.
for further reading:
- Yigal Zalmona, The Art of Abel Pann- From Montparnasse to the Land of the Bible,
2003, exhibition catalogue, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
- Shlomit Steinberg and Felix Salten, Abel Pann: The painter of The Bible, exhibition
catalogue, The Jewish Museum, Vienna, 2001
- Abel Pann, Autobiographie: Odyssee d'un peintre israelien, ne en Russie tsariste
et francais d'adoption, 1996