Ben Uri collection

Portrait of Mama Gimol

Artist information

Name Bettina Caro (1955-)

Born Casablanca, Morocco

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Object Details

Object type painting

Medium oil on canvas

Materials and techniques oil (medium) canvas (support)

Unframed 60 x 50 cm

Acquisition Presented by the artist 2016

Accession number 2016-12

Display status not on display

This portrait shows Bettina Caro's great grandmother, 'Mama Gimol', who was born in Gibraltar in 1874, married and raised her family in Tangiers, and died in Casablanca, Morocco. It reflects both the strong identity of the sitter and the artist's own connection to her Sephardi (Jews from Spain, Portugal, north Africa and the Middle East) family heritage and traditions. Mama Gimol left her home in Gibraltar as a young bride for Tangiers, where she had built a new life and raised a family, and the artist, in turn, left her home in Tangiers to start a new life in London via Madrid.

Mama Gimol with her direct gaze and piercing blue eyes, is characterised by her distinctive and ornate jewellery and headdress, suggesting an important occasion - in contrast to the more sombre costume of Ashkenazi Jews, who came from Eastern Europe.


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© Bettina Caro