Born in the Ukraine in 1894, Emmanuel Mane Katz became a premier artist best known for his portraits and paintings with Jewish themes. His father wanted him to be a rabbi, but he moved to Paris when he was 19 to study art at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, with fellow students Chaim Soutine and Marc Chagall. He was influenced by Rembrandt, the Fauves and Cubism. He also befriended Pablo Picasso and other important artists working in Paris at the time. Katz became associated with an art movement known as the Jewish School of Paris.
Mané Katz returned to Ukraine after the outbreak of World War I. He worked briefly for the Russian ballets, and in 1921, he returned to Paris. In 1927 he became a French citizen. Katz traveled extensively to continue painting and to exhibit his work. His style became expressionist, with loose brushstrokes and forms.
He served the French army during World War II and was captured by the Germans. After escaping, Mane Katz went to the United States and was able to exhibit his work. In 1945, he returned to Paris. Mane Katz painted hundreds of portraits of rabbis, scenes from the East European, Jewish musicians and works of Jewish symbolism. His work can be found in the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, Tate Britain, London, the Museum of Art, Ein Harod, Israel and at The Mané-Katz Museum, Haifa, Israel.