Maxa Nordau was born to a middle class Parisian family. Her father, Max Nordau (1849-1923), was a physician, Jewish Zionist philosopher and one of the founders of the International Zionist Organisation together with Theodor Herzl. Maxa became an artist, studying oil painting, acrylic painting and sketching, before first exhibiting her work in 1924 in the official Salon in Strasbourg. She is considered to be part of the École de Paris.
During World War II, she left France and moved to the United States, where she displayed her work in several exhibitions in New York. Whilst there she took the opportunity to continue studying painting at the New York City College. When she returned to Paris in 1946, Nordau continued painting and exhibiting her work in private galleries.
Most of Nordau's works were portraits, particularly of women. Nordau travelled extensively, and visited Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Greece, Morocco and other countries. The influence from her many journeys to the Middle East and to other Arabic countries is evident in the characters in her paintings. Nordau wasn't the only artist who had an interest in the Orient. This theme was very common amongst Jewish artists in the beginning of the 20th century, specifically amongst artists from Zionist families who had visited or subsequently relocated Palestine. When Nordau died in 1991, she left a large number of portraits and several illustrations.
2 sketches; 1 pencil and 1 conte pencil on paper. Mounted.
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