1890 - 1918

Isaac Rosenberg

Isaac Rosenberg was born at 5 Upper Adelaide Place, Bristol on 25 November 1890, eldest son of the six children of Russian émigré Barnett Rosenberg (formerly Dovber), general drapery dealer, and his wife Annie née Hacha. Barnett was born at Kovno, Russian Poland and married in Poland around 1881 and came to Bristol around 1885 with their youngest child Minnie, born in Poland in 1882, and where they were still living in 1891. In 1897 the family moved to 47 Cable Street, Stepney in East London where Isaac attended St Paul's school, Whitechapel but about 1899 they moved to 58 Jubilee Street, Mile End, London where Isaac attended the Baker Street school. Leaving school in 1904 and apprenticed with Carl Hentschel (1864-1930) engravers in Fleet Street, London which he completed in 1911. Becoming interested in poetry and the visual arts he attended evening classes at Birkbeck College Art School and from 1911 attended the Slade School of Fine Art studying alongside David Bomberg (1890-1957), Mark Gertler (1891-1939), Stanley Spencer (1891-1959), Paul Nash (1889-1946), Edward Wadsworth (1889-1949), Dora Carrington (1893-1932), William Roberts (1895-1980) and Christopher Nevinson (1889-1946). In 1911, a 20-year-old painter/artist, living at 159 Oxford Street, Mile End, London, with his parents Barnett 51 and Annie 50, with siblings Minnie 28, born in Russia, Annie 18, Rachel 16, David 14, all three born at Bristol and Elkon 12, born at Whitechapel, London. Isaac was taken up by Laurence Binyon (1869-1943) and Edward Marsh (1872-1953) and began to write poetry seriously and published a pamphlet of ten poems, 'Night and Day' (1912) and exhibited paintings at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1914. He suffered from chronic bronchitis and emigrated to the warmer climate of South Africa where he wrote 'On Receiving News of the War' in Cape Town but, needing to support his mother, returned to England in October 1915. Enlisting in the British Army he was assigned to the 12th Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment at Bury St Edmund's Barracks. In June 1916 he was sent to serve on the Western Front in France but continued to write poetry his 'Poems from the Trenches' are recognised as some of the most outstanding written during the First World War. A painter and pencil artist, and a poet he exhibited at New English Art Club in 1912 from London and from the Military Hospital, Bury St Edmund's in 1915. Whilst serving with the 11th (Service) Battalion of The King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment Isaac Rosenberg was killed in action in Fampoux, north-east of Arrason on 1 April 1918.

Works by This Artist