Jankel Adler (1895-1949, Polish)

Portrait of Jankel Adler by Otto Dix

Portrait of Jankel Adler by Otto Dix


Jankel Adler (1895-1949, Polish) was born in Tuszyn, Poland, and was the seventh of ten children in an Orthodox Jewish family. In 1912, he travelled to Belgrade to study engraving. Two years later he moved to Germany where he lived with his sister and studied in the college of arts and crafts in Barmen.  He founded an avant-garde group of artists, “Jung Jidysz” in 1918. After moving to several different places in Germany, he moved to Düsseldorf in 1922 where he met Paul Klee who became a great influence upon his work. Not unlike other artists during the Nazi era, his work was also exhibited as degenerate in 1933. Soon afterwards, Adler left Germany and remained in Paris until 1939 when he volunteered to serve in the Polish army, but was discharged in 1941 owing to health issues. In 1943, he moved to London. He survived all his siblings who had been killed in the Holocaust, but died at age 53 in 1949.

The influence of Picasso, Léger, Klee and Dix can be seen in Adler’s work. So, it is not surprising that Adler includes cats in many of his compositions since the artists that played a large role in his artistic development were all cat lovers.





Katzen, Jankel Adler, 1927

Katzen, Cats


Jankel Adler, Cats




Jankel Adler (1895-1949) - Cat - Mixed media (oil, pencil, sand) on vellum

Cat – Mixed media (oil, pencil, sand) on vellum


Still life with cat, Jankel Adler

Still Life with Cat



Woman and Sitting Cat, Jankel Adler

Woman and Sitting Cat


Jankel Adler, Woman and Cat

Woman and Cat


Jankel Adler, 'Girl and Cat'via

Girl and Cat’via



Jankel Adler Woman and Two Cats

Woman and Two Cats


1925-AdlerCléron, el criador de gatos (1925) -- Jankel Adler

Adler Cléro
El criador de gatos


Detail of the cat from Herr Cleron, der Katzenzüchte (Mr Cleron, the cat breeder), 1925

Detail of the cat from Mr Cleron the cat breeder


Jankel Adler 1895-1949 (Polish) Cat ink on paper

Cat ink on paper


Want to know more about the cat in art, history and literature?  Then Revered and Reviled is the book for you. Now available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. 


Revered and Reviled: A Complete History of the Domestic Cat, cat history, cats


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  1. I like the ‘girl’ piece

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