45 Moses strikes the rock for water

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Adolf Fényes

Budapest, 1914

Oil, canvas

Donated by Simon Krausz, 1922

Adolf Fényes (Kecskemét, 1867 – Budapest, 1945) started to take lessons in painting in 1884. After studying in Weimar and Paris, he attended the master classes of Gyula Benczúr. In 1898 he was one of the founders of the Art Colony of Szolnok, sponsored by Adolf Kohner.His father, Simon Fischmann, was the rabbi of Kecskemét and his mother was the granddaughter of Izrael Wahrmann, the first rabbi of the Jewish community of Pest. An excellent painter, coming from a famous family, Fényes has several paintings in the collection of the Jewish Museum. His painting Moses strikes the rock for water was purchased for the museum in 1922 by Simon Krausz, a bank manager famous for his audacious way of conducting business, and he asked Tamás Kóbor, the journalist working for the Újság (The Newspaper), who later became a renowned writer, to be the intermediary. The painting depicts a biblical scene when the Israelites were in the wilderness without water. Moses was upon the rock at Horeb, struck the rock and obtained drinking water from the rock with divine intervention. The Biblical text continues with the fight against, and defeat of, Amalek.  For those who are well-versed in the biblical writings, it may have evoked the long history of attacks against Jews from generation to generation. (2 Moses 17)

45 Moses strikes the rock for water