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Close Looking & DiscussionShare

Friday Evening

Isidor Kaufmann (Austrian, b. Hungary, 1853-1921)

Friday Evening, c. 1920

  • Oil on canvas
  • 28 5/8 x 35 7/8 in. (72.7 x 91.1 cm)
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • Gift of Mr. and Mrs. M. R. Schweitzer, JM 4-63

Not on view



Friday Evening


Friday Evening




  • What do you notice about the interior depicted in Kaufmann's painting? What objects can you identify in the painting? Where do you think this scene is set? In what time period do you think it is set?

  • Describe the expression on the woman's face.

  • What adjectives would you use to describe the mood of this painting? How has the artist created this atmosphere?

  • Where is the light coming from in this painting? How does the artist use the light to focus your attention? Why do you think light is so important in the painting?

  • Kaufmann never finished this painting. How can you tell? Which objects appear to be more completely rendered? Why might that be?


After giving students ample opportunity to examine this painting, lead them in a discussion of related topics and themes:

  • What do you think this woman is thinking? Why do you think she's sitting alone?

  • What do you think will happen next in this scene?

  • The Sabbath offers a rest or break from the work week. What do you do to take a break from school and other everyday concerns? What are some ways of doing this without using electricity?

  • The Sabbath has been called a "taste of paradise." What do you think that means?