Thursday, July 28, 2016
Altmann was born to a Jewish family in a village near Kiev, Ukraine. At the age of 11 he left his home to go to Odessa. In order to earn his living he worked as a tailor, shoemaker, metalworker and salesman in grocery, until the painter Doroshevich took Altmann into his service and noticed the talent of young man and advised him that he should study painting.
He did not find the opportunity of study in the Ukraine and at the age of 20 left his homeland for Vienna and then on to Paris. He was a hard worker and undertook to do any work in order to survive and to study painting.
In Paris the painter lived in poverty and at one time was taken to the Rothschild hospital because he was faint from hunger. It was there that Altmann painted portrait of one patient’s, a poor old man. Unexpectedly the Guardian of hospital bought that portrait and paid what seemed a great sum of money to young painter. Altmann invested this money for entering Paris Academy of R. Julian in mid-1900.
Although Altmann was inspired by style and spirit of Impressionist painting, he was acquainted with art schools of the end of the 19th and art influences at the beginning of the 20th century. He had a strong sense of his own style gaining an excellent reputation of a sensitive painter, landscapes and master of portraying the city environs.