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Isaac Rosenberg (1890-1918), Painter and poet

Sitter in 2 portraits
Artist of 1 portrait
The son of Lithuanian emigrants, Rosenberg grew up amid poverty in London's East End. He started writing poetry at fourteen, encouraged by the local librarian in Whitechapel, and later, with his friends' generosity (amongst whom where David Bomberg and Mark Gertler ) Rosenberg went on to study painting at the Slade School of Art, also publishing two volumes of poems Night and Day (1912) and Youth (1915). Despite being a pacifist, he enlisted for the First World War, not out of patriotism, but poverty. He would write his finest poetry on the Western Front, where he was killed in April 1918 aged twenty-seven. His acclaimed war poems, including Break of Day in the Trenches were published posthumously.

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Isaac Rosenberg

by Isaac Rosenberg
oil on panel, 1915
NPG 4129


Isaac Rosenberg

by London Art Studios
bromide print mounted on a postcard, circa 1915
NPG P230