The aura of rebels, innovators and the standard-bearers of modern art in Palestine that has accompanied the history of the Modernists has been often linked to an idealised image of the yishuv and its pioneer ethos: ‘It was…a community that had a pioneering spirit, the naïveté of youth, and a flair of renewal-traits that would soon permeate its newly emergent art’.1 Following this description one would have expected to see art that was concerned with pioneers, youth and processes of renewal and construction. But as became clear in the previous chapter, this was not the case, and the majority of artists of the 1920s paid little attention to the newly founded Kibbutzim or to the fast-growing town of Tel Aviv. They preferred instead to paint ancient towns such as Jaffa, Safed and Old Jerusalem or Arab villages and their surroundings. Likewise, in portraying people they often chose the ‘old’ inhabitants of the country, namely the Arabs, and almost ignored the Jewish pioneers-a fact that did not escape some of the critics. Moreover, in their attraction to oriental figures the Modernists were not as far from the approach of Bezalel. The portrayal of the country’s ethnic ‘types’ in Bezalel paralleled attempts to create an art that would emanate from the place itself and would be inspired by the surrounding views and the local inhabitants. In reality, these inhabitants were almost exclusively Jewish, mainly Yemenites, Persian, Bucharan and other ‘exotic’ Jews of Jerusalem (Figs 4.13 and 4.14).