Masha Orlovich

Masha Orlovich's gallery has, in recent years, become one of the most visited art sites of Tzfat. This is not surprising, as Masha's art has infused Tzfat's Artists Colony with a type of classical art which had not been seen in the town for quite a while.

Child Prodigy

Masha arrived in Tzfat from Leningrad where she had already begun to gain a reputation as a competent and solid young artist, after having been selected and trained in classical painting from an early age. In Communist Russia, where the authorities identified children with specialized talents early on, Masha's exceptional artistic abilities were noted by age 7, and shortly thereafter, she was accepted for study at the prestigious Children Academy of the Hermitage state museum. Her studies continued at other well-known Russian academies of art, notably the Leningrad City Art School and the Serov College of Fine art, but when the gates opened for Russian Jews to immigrate to Israel, Masha was among the first to take advantage of the opportunities for the artistic expression and religious freedom that immigration offered. She arrived in Israel in 1990, choosing Tzfat as the city that she wanted to settle in and opened her own art gallery.


Masha's work is reminiscent of the classical artists of the Renaissance age. She works in a number of mediums and techniques, including drawing, watercolors, and a mixed technique which include elements of encaustic (hot wax paint). Her subject matter varies widely, ranging from urban landscapes to nudes. The longer she lives and works in Tzfat, however, the more the synagogues, houses, doors, windows, lanes and winding alleys of Tzfat feature in her work. She has a unique ability to find the hidden characteristics in the same scenes which have been painted hundreds of times before, but in her hands she is able to infuse details which are not seen in other pictures of the same subjects.

In addition to her paintings of Tzfat and Jerusalem and her nudes, Masha's gallery exhibits many of the portraits that she paints - she is particularly intrigued by musicians, and her gallery displays many paintings of classical musicians at work. Some of these paintings seem to have been inspired by the annual Tzfat Klezmer Festival, a three-day happening of Klezmer music which Tzfat hosts every August.

Perhaps the most unique set of subject matter exhibited by Masha is her sketches of pets. In a series of pencil and watercolor sketches, Masha captures group of dogs and cats in the most relaxed manner ever drawn. It's an unexpected surprise in a town where the content of much of the art centers around Tzfat and Judaica, but somehow, Masha manages to make these animals TZFAT dogs and cats, and with a little imagination, one can imagine them dozing on the porches and in the doorways of the Tzfat scenes that she paints so well.