Like many early studio photographers, Rotblat would have needed some of the skills of an artist; he would have been expected to hand-color portraits for his customers, and re-touch photographs to bring reality and fantasy a little closer together. But Rotblat also possessed a much rarer talent. He had a genius for creating micrographs - minutely detailed compositions made up of thousands of tiny letters that appear whole from a distance but fracture and dissolve when viewed close up. This unique form of Jewish folk art has a long history. It started with the illumination of religious texts, moved on to the depiction of Biblical scenes and portraits (rabbis, monarchs and Yiddish writers) and is still being practised today. A micrographic artist needs the compositional skills of an architectural draughtsman, the fearlessness of a tattooist and the flowing hand of an artist. Plus the fluency and stamina of the sofer, the Torah scribe, the occupation which many micrographers followed. The great micrographic artists were geniuses of geometry and pattern-making and nowhere is their skill more evident than in the portraits. From jubilee tributes of Queen Victoria and Emperor Franz Joseph, to memorials to Theodore Herzl and tributes to Yiddish writers (including Ansky, Reyzen, Opatoshu, Perets, and Shomer) the portraits are extraordinary in their breadth of subjects and techniques.
Source - Digital Yiddish Theatre Project - The Talented Mr. Rotblat and his Micrographic Tribute to Jacob Gordin