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Photo credit: Ben Uri Collection

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The painting’s title, 'Shtetl', refers to the traditional Jewish village or small town with its tightly-knit community that was common throughout Eastern Europe before the Holocaust. Kowalska conjures up a classic Polish shtetl with archetypal villagers gathering round the water pump at its centre. Nevertheless, a horse-drawn cart winding up a street lined with typical, single-story houses warns of a fast-disappearing way of life as it disappears into a narrowing perspective.

Ben Uri Gallery & Museum





oil on canvas


H 45 x W 60 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift from Mosheh Oved

Work type


Inscription description


Ben Uri Gallery & Museum

108a Boundary Road, St John's Wood, London, Greater London NW8 0RH England

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