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Isaac Rosenberg (1890 - 1918) was a working class British artist and poet. He grew up mainly in the East End of London and his later education at the Slade School of Fine Art was made possible by three Jewish women benefactors. Rosenberg travelled to South Africa in 1914 where he painted several portraits and published some poetry and met Schreiner’s close friends Betty Molteno and Alice Greene among others. He returned to Britain in 1915, which is when Schreiner met him on a few occasions. In her letters she commented admiringly on his paintings, remarking to Betty Molteno for example, “I think the heads of natives quite wonderful That is his line. I want to get some people to see his pictures & perhaps buy some.” She also criticized Hermann Kallenbach for making critical comments about Rosenberg, pointing out how ‘ungentlemanly’ this was. Rosenberg subsequently became known as a ‘war poet’; he was killed on the western front in 1918.
For further information see:
Jon Stallworthy (2004) ‘Rosenberg, Isaac (1890-1918)’ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford University Press http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/37914
Jean Moorcroft Wilson (2007) Isaac Rosenberg: The Making of a Great War Poet London: Weidenfield & Nicholson
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