Sketching Out Blog: Sketches of art, watercolor, photos, recipes, books, interviews, Jewish topics, and Highland Park, New Jersey

Havdalah in oils

havdalah by Leora Wenger, oil painting
I did this painting about two years ago. The subject is havdalah, the ceremony after the end of Shabbat that we do every week. After saying the havdalah prayer, my husband pours a little wine (or grape juice) unto a plate, and I put the candle in the liquid to extinguish the flame. Can spot the two little cloves, symbolic of the besamim (spices) that we smell so we should have a good week? (Shavua tov = good week)

The havdalah in oils painting has a Rembrandtesque quality that I love.

A Simple Jew says

I thought you would appreciate this related posting:

Leora says

Thanks for sharing that post. I'll have to re-read it later to absorb it.

I've greatly enjoyed the artwork you display on your site. My daughter (5-year-old) is doing a section on art in school, and I was thinking of bringing in some Jewish art to see what they recognize.

Jill says

Very nice! Kind of mysterious.
It is reminiscent of Rembrandt's color palette. Also Vermeer.


Leora says


Thanks for the comparison to Vermeer. I think Vermeer is a perfectionist's perfectionist when it comes to painters. I can get close to Rembrandt, but Vermeer! He wasn't nearly as prolific as Rembrandt, and he died young, partly because he was depressed he couldn't support his many kids with his art.

I don't really see Vermeer in this painting, but I guess it is reminiscent of Dutch art in general. Chiariscuro, lights and darks.

Gail says

Very, very nicely done, Leora. Lighting, composition, subject - all of it.


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