n o r m a n m a u r i c e k a d i s h . c o m
Home About The Artist Paintings Drawings Virtual Exhibition Prints
Virtual Exhibition - Portraits

Virtual Exhibition - Portraits

Guide Masterworks Biblical Cycle Portraits

Renée in the Italian Scarf (detail)
© Estate of Norman Maurice Kadish
Renée in the Italian Scarf



NMK saw himself first and foremost as a figurative artist and portrait painter in oils. Some of his best portraits were intimate studies of his own family - his wife Renée and his three daughters.  

During the 1960s and 1970s NMK executed a series of portraits of each of the girls, painted at five-yearly intervals: aged 5, 10 and 15/16. In the case of all of the three early childhood portraits, he had to supplement painting from life during the long summer school holidays with stills taken by a professional photographer in Edgware. In those days, studio photographs were limited to black and white. Therefore, it was essential for an artist like NMK, to whom colour was so important, to get the children to pose in front of him, so that he could accurately paint their complexions and clothes. By the time the girls reached the age of 10 they were expected to sit in person. The artist’s best work was usually produced from life rather than from photographs.

Over the years NMK carried out a number of portrait commissions but not as many as he would have liked. It was difficult to get sitters, even family and friends: ‘People are too fidgety’ he told the local press (in 1984). In any case, with the advent of colour photography, everyone was taking photographs, which was much quicker and cheaper. He ‘kept his hand in’ by producing attractive demonstration portraits, usually on board, at the evening classes that he taught during his career.