|| by Ze'ev Raban (born Wolf Rawicki, 1890-1970), studied sculpture and the decorative arts in Europe, first in his hometown and later in Munich, Paris, and Brussels. At the Kunstgewerbechule in Munich, Raban learned design, including object and jewelry design;in Paris, he specialized in sculpture; and in Brussels, he was influenced by Symbolism and earned his living through architectural decoration projects.
Raban reached Eretz-Israel in 1912 and joined the staff of the Bezalel School in Jerusalem, at the invitation of its director, Boris Schatz. In 1914, he was appointed director of the brass and copper repousse department. Raban viewed himself as a pioneer in the renewal of Hebrew art in Erez-Israel and was actively involved in the forming of the ethos of the growing nation. He encouraged tourism through his poster art, illustrated Hebrew primers, and endowed decorative and functional objects with Jewish/Hebrew content. Raban underwent a metamorphosis in art from the western art of his studies to an incorporation of Eastern techniques and motifs, and the use of indigent flora and fauna. An important stage in that transformation was the adoption of the Yemenite as a model for the Biblical figure.
Raban's acquaintance had been with a European Symbolism that was international, equivocal, and often personal. But in Erez Israel, Raban created a "Hebrew Symbolism" that was national and carried a clear message, although he still preferred the ideal and the archetypal over realistic. He developed a visual lexicon of motifs based on Jewish designs and topics, and to these he added his own Hebrew calligraphic script and other decorative elements, to form what was to become the "Bezalel style".