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Solomon was an English Pre-Raphaelite painter born into a prominent Jewish family. As a student at the Royal… [More] Academy Schools, Solomon was introduced through Dante Gabriel Rossetti to other members of the Pre-Raphaelite circle, as well as the poet Algernon Charles Swinburne and the painter Edward Burne-Jones in 1857. His first exhibition was at the Royal Academy in 1858. He continued to hold exhibitions of his work at the Royal Academy between 1858 and 1872. In addition to the literary paintings favored by the Pre-Raphaelite school, Solomon’s subjects often included scenes from the Hebrew Bible and genre paintings depicting Jewish life and rituals. His association with Swinburne led to his illustrating Swinburne’s Lesbia Brandon in 1865. His life and talent were blighted by alcoholism. Interesting fact: In 1873 his career was cut short when he was arrested in a public urinal in London and charged with attempting to commit sodomy. [Less]
1859: Alfred Dreyfus
Dreyfus was a French artillery officer of Jewish background whose trial and conviction in 1894 on… [More] charges of treason became one of the most tense political dramas associated with the anti-Semitism in modern French and European history. In 1894, the French Army’s counter-intelligence section became aware that new artillery information was being passed to the Germans by a highly-placed spy most likely to be in the General Staff. Suspicion quickly fell upon Dreyfus who was arrested for treason in October 1894. In January 1895, Dreyfus was summarily convicted in a secret court martial, publicly stripped of his army rank, and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil’s Island in French Guiana — only later to be discovered that he was set up for the fall. Known today as the Dreyfus Affair, the incident eventually ended with Dreyfus’s complete exoneration. [Less]
1911: Joe Rosenthal
Rosenthal was a Jewish-American photographer who received the Pulitzer Prize for his iconic World… [More] War II photograph Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, taken during the Battle of Iwo Jima. His picture became one of the best-known photographs of the war. His parents were Russian Jewish immigrants and he converted to Catholicism during his youth. [Less]