Painter and draughtsman Maurice Sochachewsky was born into a Jewish family in the Hackney area of London, England in 1918 and was raised in the East End. At the age of fourteen, he won a scholarship to St Martin’s School of Art in London. Afterwards, in the early 1930s, he visited the Welsh village of Tal-y-Wain and the Monmouthshire Colliery, where for eight months he painted numerous portraits of the miners and their families, observing the hardship of their lives first-hand. This led to his first major solo exhibition at the Bloomsbury Gallery in London. His outlook was shaped by his experiences and observations of the working lives of the close-knit East End Jewish communities amongst whom he had been raised. The historian Peter Lord has argued that these Welsh mining scenes, observed during the Depression-era, were ‘part of a wider phenomenon of fervent artistic interest in the poverty of the area’. In 1948 Sochachewsky returned to this subject, illustrating two books by the journalist and writer Theo Lang including 'Cross Country', which describes a journey from Lands End to John O'Groats, and includes drawings of the Welsh miners. By then, Sochachewsky was living in London, with his wife, Constance, who in the same year was painted by expatriate New Zealand artist Douglas Macdiarmid, who was part of their artistic circle.
During the Second World War, while serving in the British army for the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, Sochachewsky was wounded during the Battle of Normandy and lost an eye. He continued to paint and exhibited regularly in group exhibitions with the Ben Uri (where he had first exhibited in the Annual Exhibition of Works by Jewish Artists in 1935) from 1944–47, then again throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, and he also served as a member of the Arts Committee in the 1950s. In 1949 he visited Israel and in 1953 held a solo exhibition of drawings from this trip at Ben Uri; a further solo exhibition in 1969 included his portrait of Ben Uri founder, Moshe Oved, and an introduction by Theo Lang. Sochachewsky's drawings also appeared in the Evening Standard and the Jewish Chronicle. Sochachewsky later retired to Kent, where he died in 1969. His work is also held in the Jewish Museum, London.