Birds’ Head Haggadah
- Sarit Shalev-Eyni
Earliest surviving illuminated Ashkenazi Haggadah (Jerusalem, Israel Mus., Ms. 180/57), copied around 1300 for an unknown patron by a scribe named Menahem. The style of the figures depicted against the bare parchment and designed in unified contrasting colours is paralleled in manuscripts of the early 14th century Upper Rhine region. The programme of decoration focuses on text illustrations, including ritual and biblical scenes, dispersed along the outer margins. They are arranged in several narrative clusters and some of them bear polemic meanings. Full-page miniatures appear at the beginning and end of the manuscript: the master of the house seated with his wife at the festive ...