Collection: Rafael Chwoles

Rafael Chwoles (1913-2002) studied under well-known artists Marian Kulesza, Moshe Leibovsky, and Alexander Shturman. He participated in art exhibitions starting in 1933 in Vilnius (Young Artists' Creative Exhibition, 1933, prize for best portrait), Geneva (International Jewish Painting Exhibition, 1935), Warsaw, Białystok, Druskininkai, and Riga. His first solo exhibition (one of more than twenty held throughout his life) was opened in Vilnius in 1938.

Rafael Chwoles was a city man, always very attentive to the architecture of the cities where he lived and traveled, especially the old architecture. He felt particularly close to Vilnius. His favorite architectural motifs were painted in oil, gouache, and watercolor. His artistic style evolved with the general trends in post-war art—from detailed, documentarily capturing the environment to a resonant palette of bright, decorative colors. His paintings from the 1990s are notable for their particular vitality, expressiveness in color, and manner.

R. Chwoles' works are held in many museums worldwide (Lithuanian Art Museum, National M. K. Čiurlionis Art Museum, Lithuanian National Museum, Tretyakov Gallery, National Museum in Warsaw, Jewish Museum in Warsaw, Kraków City Museum, Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Ghetto Fighters' House in Israel, Sholem Aleichem Museum in Tel Aviv) and in private collections in Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, and Israel.

For his cultural and artistic activities, Rafael Chwoles was awarded the European Academy of Arts medal (1981), the City of Paris medal (marking 50 years of creative work, 1983), the Manger Prize (Israel, 1994), and the Sholem Aleichem Prize (Israel, 1995).

Prepared based on information by N. Nevčesauskienė for the R. Chwoles painting exhibition at the Vilnius Picture Gallery, August 12 - September 12, 2004.