This is a black and white original lithograph, done in the Impressionism style, of a group of people who are crowded together and who appear to be moving (or ‘in flight’). It was created by artist Jacques Ochs. The people may be in a desert, since their bodies are casting shadows on the ground. Some of them also appear to be wearing loose clothes/robes, scarfs, and other headdresses, like those worn by Jewish elders. I have seen an Ochs lithograph similar to (but not the same as) this one, which was entitled “Exodus” and which appeared to represent the ancient liberation of Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. The lithograph in this listing does not have a title. It could be art that represents ‘a celebration of the biblical Exodus’, art that represents ‘Jewish World War II Holocaust victims who are being deported from them homes or are fleeing to safety’, or art that is symbolic of both the Exodus and the Holocaust. This lithograph is signed “OCHS” in the plate and is also signed “OCHS” (in pencil, by the artist) in the lower left corner. There is a handwritten notation (in the lower right corner of the artwork) indicating that it is number 185, from a limited edition of 200 prints.
Jacques Ochs (1883-1971) was born in France and moved with his family to Belgium, when he was a child. When he was still very young, he studied art at the Royal Academy of Art (in Liege, Belgium) and Academie Julian (in Paris, France). By 1920, he was a professor of ‘Painting’ at the Academie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Liege. By 1934, he was the Director of the city's Musee des Beaux Arts. As a working artist, he was a painter and a caricaturist, who published his sketches, illustrations, and caricatures in French and Belgian newspapers and magazines. In 1938, Ochs (who was Jewish) was arrested by the Nazi Government and was imprisoned at a Fort Breendonk Internment Camp (in Belgium) that was used to hold political prisoners and foreign Jews who were awaiting transport to Germany. While he was imprisoned, he created drawings of prison life and of prisoners. When he first started making prison art, he ‘documented the life of’ and ‘created diversions for’ himself and other prisoners. He was later forced to create art (featuring acts of brutality against prisoners), by the Nazi prison authorities. Some of Ochs’ artwork was smuggled out of the Fort Breendonk camp and (in 1942) Ochs was smuggled out of the camp. By 1944, he was arrested again and was imprisoned at the Mechelen Transit Camp (also in Belgium), where he created art that was based on prison life and prisoners. He was eventually liberated from the Mechelen camp, by the British forces. After the war, Ochs used the drawings that he made in prison to create a book (that was published in 1947), which included scenes related to prison life. After the war, he also became a member of the Royal Academy of Science, Letters and Fine Arts of Belgium and a member of the Acquisitions Commission of the Royal Museum of Modern Art in Belgium, worked as a lecturer, and continued to paint and to draw. Ochs’ work has been included in many exhibitions. He also won many awards and prizes, including a gold medal at the Second International Art Biennial at Menton (in 1953) and a gold medal from the Academy of Fine Arts, Sciences, and Letters in Paris (in 1959).
The framed artwork is 21 3/4 inches (wide) by 17 1/2 inches (high). The actual image is on paper with dimensions (that are visible inside of the matting) of about 13 1/4 inches (wide) by 10 1/4 inches (high).
This framed and matted lithograph is in very good condition, with no tears or stains. There is not a dust cover on the back of the art. There is a piece of cardboard on the back (that I was able to ascertain is not actually attached to the lithograph) and the art and cardboard are being held into the frame with tape. The black and gold painted wood frame has several nicks, cracks, and areas of chipped paint.
Vintage Original Signed Jacques Ochs Limited Edition Lithograph of ‘Moving’ Group of People, Jewish/Holocaust Art