Henry Israel (painter) - a huge loss.

Henry Israel 22nd January 1933 - 24th December 2017

Henry was a truly great artist and teacher. We shared the same birthday but not the same year. He was strong and forceful but enormously kind - and very patient, if he thought you were serious. For over 30 years I regarded him as my mentor: he jostled on my shoulder, as I worked (and still does), with my brother John Martin and Cezanne - stern but wise mentors all.

He was classically trained at the Slade but not well known beyond a small circle of collectors and students in North Cornwall because he hated attention and fuss. I remember him once saying that he didn't paint in public because he wasn't a performer. This makes him sound a curmudgeon but he wasn't, he had a dark and mischievous East London sense of humour, which I think comes across in the photo above.

Our painting techniques, from widely different starting points, seemed to converge at the end; I felt that he came to me, but he would say the opposite of course. We had one exhibition together in Camelford in 2005: Henry's B&W photography and drawings, and my own very un-B&W paintings.

I miss him tremendously. His wife Caeria - also a fine painter - is missing him much more of course.






- 8 October 2018 at 01:58pm

Hi there, Nice post. Is it possible to see anymore of Henry's paintings?
Many thanks
Julia Michell
- 26 October 2018 at 07:01pm

I fine tribute to Henry and to his wife Caeria who I’m sure suffers his loss more than anyone. Probably the best painter of his time in Cornwall. Vastly under rated or ignored by the establishment. A man who worked predominantly with light and shade, truth and beauty. A master of his own art. God rest his soul and Caeria, peace be with yours.
- 26 October 2018 at 07:47pm

I couldn't agree more. Every word you say is true. There are very few of his paintings on line it seems but I'll investigate. I do have a charcoal life class drawing of his which is lovely, and I can photograph this and circulate it if interested. John Blight at the Camelford Gallery might have some paintings.
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