The Joy of Museums

Finding Beauty & Meaning in Museums

“Jewess with Oranges” by Aleksander Gierymski

Aleksander Gierymski, Żydówka z pomarańczami

“Jewess with Oranges” by Aleksander Gierymski shows a Jewish shopkeeper, she has poor clothing, a cap on her head, and a scarf on her shoulders. The woman’s face is serious as she carries two baskets of oranges looking for customers. Her prominent wrinkles heighten the effect of hardship and toil, which emanate from her character.

The woman is the focal point, and neither the oranges with their bright colour or the background of roofs of houses and the Warsaw skyline, detract from the woman they only provide a context.

This painting was stolen during World War II and only reappeared in 2010. The painter signed his name prominently in the lower left corner and included the Polish name of the city where he painted the picture, Warszawa.

Jewess with Oranges:

  • Title:                          Jewess with Oranges
  • Polski:                       Żydówka z pomarańczami
  • Artist:                        Aleksander Gierymski
  • Date:                          1881
  • Medium:                  Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:           H: 65 cm (25.6 in). W: 54 cm (21.3 in)
  • Museum:                 National Museum, Warsaw

Aleksander Gierymski

  • Name:                        Ignacy Aleksander Gierymski
  • Born:                          1850 – Warsaw
  • Died:                          1901 – Rome
  • Nationality:              Polish
  • Notable Works
    • Jewess with Oranges


“A guest sees more in an hour than the host in a year.” Polish Proverb



Photo Credit:  Aleksander Gierymski [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons