The Sephardi artist Bettina Caro was born in Casablanca and now works in London. Her evocative paintings capture the light and vibrancy of her North African childhood and she is also renowned for her landscapes of the Mediterranean and of the Holy Land. She is also much in demand as a portrait painter.
'Growing up in Tangiers as a direct descendant of Rabbi Yosef Caro (1488–1575), author of the great codification of Jewish law the Shulchan Aruch, my roots and heritage have always been an integral part of my life. My father, a keen amateur painter, encouraged me to express myself through paint from the moment I could hold a brush. It was he who taught me how to use linseed oil to create a blurred effect.
In 1973, we moved to Spain, where I studied art and architecture at the University of Madrid. Here in England, where I have lived since 1981, I have developed my own distinct style to capture the Mediterranean landscapes of my youth and the Sephardi Jewish rituals that punctuated our family life, handed down through the generations.'
Bettina paints on canvas and board, using oils to create rich tones, acrylics for their intensity, watercolours for their delicacy and gold leaf to add that transformative touch of Mediterranean sunlight.
Her works are on permanent public display at the Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue, the Ben Uri Gallery, the S&P Sephardi Synagogue and the Israeli Embassy in London, as well as the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal. She enjoys taking large and small private commissions, from the King of Spain commemorating the 500th anniversary of the expulsion of the Jews to a local London family celebrating a simcha.
In 2010, Bettina was commissioned by the Board of Deputies of British Jews to create a number of paintings to celebrate their 250th anniversary. These were published in a special commemorative volume and two of the works are now in the Board of Deputies Collection.
2012 Runner-up, International Jewish Artists Award Competition
2006 International Jewish Artist of the Year Award, London
2004 International Jewish Artist of the Year Award, London
Bettina's work has been donated and auctioned at Sotheby's and Christie's, and sold to raise funds for charities close to her heart: Norwood, Variety Club, Hadassah Hospital and Sharet Tzedek
In 2011, the London Jewish Cultural Centre (LJCC) put on a retrospective of Bettina's work, 'A Journey into Sepharad', focusing on the paintings inspired by her childhood in Tangiers. An accompanying book also contains scenes of Jewish ritual, portraits of prominent members of the Sephardi community in Great Britain and landscapes of Israel and Provence. A second exhibition was held at the LJCC in 2014. In 2018, Bettina had a solo exhibition at the Centro Sepharad-Israel in Madrid. The exhibition was widely reviewed in the Spanish press. She also appeared in radio and TV. You can hear an interview with Bettina in English on
Spanish speakers can view an interview from Shalom TV here: http://www.rtve.es/m/alacarta/videos/shalom/shalom-visitamos-obra-bettina-caro/4834674/?media=tve