Ben Uri collection

Work by Paul Jeffay

The painter-engraver Paul Jeffay was born Saul Yaffie in Glasgow, Scotland in 1898 to Russian-Jewish immigrant parents, fleeing pogroms, who had been among the first generation of 20th century Jews to settle in the Gorbals, which became the heart of the Glasgow Jewish community.

Jeffay studied at The Glasgow School of Art between 1912 and 1919 (one of only three other Jewish students who attended The Glasgow School of Art at that time), winning numerous prizes. His tutors included the Estonian-born sculptor Benno Schotz, who recalled that upon the outbreak of the First World War, Yaffie won a poster competition to be displayed in Glasgow tramcars depicting a woman and child fleeing from a fire. Jeffay’s studies were interrupted by his voluntary war service (1916-17), and after briefly being stationed in the same Jewish battalion as sculptor Jacob Epstein, he served in the King’s Own Scottish Borderers.

Following the Armistice, Saul returned briefly to Glasgow, before moving to Paris and settling in Montmartre around 1919. He participated in various ‘Salon des Independants’ exhibitions in the 1920s and 1930s, adopting the pseudonym ‘Paul Jeffay’, and also working under the names Paul Lebeau, and Solomon/Saül Yaffie/Yafie. In 1930, he founded his own studio in ‘Fontenay-aux-Roses’, where he remained (with the exception of the Second World War years) until his death in 1957.

Between 1933 and 1939, Jeffay made three prolonged visits to Poland, studying and sketching the Jewish community in the Warsaw Ghetto; the resulting album, ‘Visages du Ghetto’, comprises a series of fourteen etchings. Jeffay’s studio was looted by the German Army during the Second World War and only a small portion of his work has survived.

16 work/s by this artist from the collection are shown below. For a more detailed record and image please click on the link.

Tristesse (Grief)

Object type print

Accession number 1994-18i

Un Savant (A wise Man)

Object type print

Accession number 1994-18ii

Problème ardu (A Taxing Problem)

Object type print

Accession number 1994-18iii

Le Rabbin Mendelson (Rabbi Mendelson)

Object type print

Accession number 1994-18iv

Ouvriers au repos (Workers at Rest)

Object type print

Accession number 1994-18ix

Méditation (Meditation)

Object type print

Accession number 1994-18v

Qui a raison (Who is Right)

Object type print

Accession number 1994-18vi

Sabbat (Sabbath)

Object type print

Accession number 1994-18vii

La Prière (Prayer)

Object type print

Accession number 1994-18viii

La Détente (Relaxation)

Object type print

Accession number 1994-18x

La Lumière de la Torah (The Light of the Torah) 

Object type print

Accession number 1994-18xi

École talmudique (Talmudic School) 

Object type print

Accession number 1994-18xii

Mendel

Object type print

Accession number 1994-18xiii

Le Ciel est ouvert (The Heavens are Open)

Object type print

Accession number 1994-18xiv

Visages du Ghetto Portfolio (portfolio front page)

Object type printed material

Accession number 1994-18xv

Visages du Ghetto Portfolio (portfolio contents page)

Object type printed material

Accession number 1994-18xvi