In 1983, R.B. Kitaj married the American artist Sandra Fisher. Kitaj and Sandra chose the Spanish-Portuguese-Sephardic Bevis Marks Synagogue for their wedding, the oldest synagogue in London.
The wedding ceremony was held in accordance with traditional rites. Their closest friends formed the minyan, the minimum number of ten worshippers required for a Jewish religious service.
Kitaj tried to capture the event in a painting. The bridal couple can be seen on the right under the chuppah, the wedding canopy. Behind them is the best man, David Hockney (b. 1937), and at the far right, Leon Kossoff (b.1926). Kitaj’s son Lem, in red trousers, and his adoptive daughter Dominie are shown in the foreground with his painter-friend Frank Auerbach (b. 1931) behind. On the left of the painting, we can see the artist Lucian Freud (1922-2011) and the rabbi of the Bevis Marks Synagoge behind him, wearing a black hat. Kitaj included his son Max in the painting, who was not even born until 1984. Max is captured as the head at the lower edge of the painting.
R.B. Kitaj on his painting "The Wedding" (Excerpt from the exhibition's audio guide, narrator: Peter Rigney)