This month, the Oculus column focuses on a mixed-media (oil pastel colored pencil and charcoal) work on paper by Saul Rosenstreich. The painting is part of the current Judaism and Art exhibit in the social hall of the shul. “Rebecca and Isaac Connect” is the artist’s interpretation of the moment when Rebecca and Isaac make eye contact and fall in love. The concept was inspired by a painting on the subject by James Tissot, a 19th-century artist who is credited with setting the standard for biblical illustration. Rosenstreich said he was captivated by the many exotic details in the Tissot, which is part of the permanent collection at the Jewish Museum in New York City, and he modeled his painting after Tissot’s work. Nevertheless, significant changes were required in order to illustrate true to the Old Testament story, Rosenstreich said.

Photo by Saul Rosenstreich