The Blessing of the Kohanim
Medium:Oil on Canvas
Date:circa 1958 – 1959
Height: 31.5 in
Width: 37.75 in
Loose portrait of three figures, one on left holding infant; dark background.
Although Lixenberg is not a practicing Jew, his work frequently references religious themes and practices. This painting along with a larger work of the same title illustrated here, depicts an abstraction of the artist as a child with his father in a synagogue avoiding looking directly at the priestly caste during the "priestly blessing" said during services held on certain Jewish holy days.
The text of the blessing can be found in the book of Numbers 6:23-27. In many traditional Jewish communities it is customary for congregants to cover their heads with prayer shawls during the blessing and not look at the Kohanim, as is depicted here.