Isidor Kaufmann�s portraits of religiously devout Jews conveyed aspects of Jewish tradition that his audience of acculturated Jews and non-Jews would understand. Here, the sitter�s orthodoxy is indicated by his fur-trimmed shtraymel (hat) and black kapote (coat). For both Kaufmann and his secular patrons, these portraits served a dual purpose. Hung in well-appointed parlors, they enhanced Kaufmann�s prestige as a painter and the social status of the paintings� owners. They also provided a connection to Jewish heritage by linking the world of cosmopolitan Vienna to a traditional lifestyle that endured outside the capital.
Source: The Jewish Museum, New York, 2003.