Moisei Nappelbaum

Nappel’baum, Moisei Solomonovich


Born Dec. 14 (26), 1869, in Minsk; died June 13, 1958, in Moscow. Soviet photographer. Master of studio portrait photography.

Nappel’baum created many well-known portraits of prominent revolutionaries, scientists, and cultural figures. Beginning in January 1918 he made a number of portraits of V. I. Lenin. Nappel’baum’s works are distinguished by artistic completeness of composition, by primary emphasis on the subject’s face, by spare use of details, by the use of light for psychological characterization, and by the touch-up of negatives with a brush to create the effect of a painting.


Ot remesla k iskusstvu: Iskusstvo fotoportreta, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1972.


Evgenov, S. “Ob iskusstve fotoportreta.” Sovetskoe foto, 1959, no. 6.
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His name was Moisei Nappelbaum, and he was one of a significant number of Soviet Jewish photographers whose work, and very existence, casts Soviet, and Jewish, 20th century history in a new light.