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This Dutch painter was the first master to show Jews not as caricatures, but as individuals endowed with human dignity. He was on friendly terms with the intellectual leaders of the Jewish quarter of Amsterdam where he lived for many years. His sitters included the famous physician Dr. Ephraim Bonus and Rabbi Saul Levi Morteira (who was Spinoza‘s first teacher). In addition to the wealthy and educated Sephardic immigrants from Portugal, from whom he received commissions, he painted poor refugees from Poland. Reared in the Protestant faith, this great Dutchman was thoroughly familiar with Jewish life and lore, as indicated by his beautiful and accurate renderings of Old Testament episodes.

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