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Jacob Bornfriend

Born 1904, Zborov, Czechoslovakia //

Died in London 1976

He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague from 1930-1935. In 1939 he fled to England, living and working in London until his death.He first exhibited in London in 1945, showing regularly thereafter at Roland, Browse and Delbanco. 

Initially his art reflected Jewish culture and folk traditions in a style influenced by Cubism and Surrealism with echoes of Chagall and Soutine. In the late 1950s and 1960s his work took the form of abstracted landscape and still lives using rich colours and rhythmic patterns associated with British abstractionists such as Patrick Heron and Peter Lanyon.

Bornfriend is represented in several public collections including the Tate Gallery and the city galleries of Leeds, Wakefield, Southampton and Bath as well as Prague and Bratislava in the country of his birth.


The University of Warwick's first architect, Eugene Rosenberg, commissioned him to make a large mural for the Jews' College, London in 1957. A retrospective was held at the Bedford Way Gallery, University of London Institute of Education in October and November 1980, with a catalogue introduction by Pierre Rouve.

Titlepage: Jewish Festivals
Simchat Torah