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Yad Vashem Homepage Felix Nussbaum
Shore at Rapallo, 1934
View of Ostende with Boat, 1935
The Backyard at the Rue Archimède, 1938
The Great Disaster, c.1939
The Refugee, 1939
Above the Roofs, 1940
Still-life with Mask, Glove, and Football, c.1940
Camp Synagogue, 1941
Portrait of an Unidentified Man, 1941
The Refugee, 1939
Le Réfugié (The Refugee), 1939
Oil on canvas
61 x 76 cm
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Le Réfugié (The Refugee), 1939

A man sits slumped in a chair, his head buried in his hands in a gesture of utter despair. Next to him rests a walking stick and a bundle of belongings. A long table, bare except for a globe, dominates the room, which resembles a jail cell. Through an arched doorway, bare trees can be seen; a flock of ravens circle overhead.

The painting is a reflection of Nussbaum’s fear and desperation on the eve of the Second World War. As Germany’s threatening shadow sweeps across Europe, the artist is left with no escape route. The desolation of the room signifies his helplessness, while the bleak view in the distance reflects grim reality – for the Jew, there is no refuge.