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Catherine Harding

(b Lomello, Dec 24, 1296; d Avignon, c. 1354).

Italian parish priest, manuscript illuminator and scholar. His drawings explored the connections between vision, reason and spirituality. In particular, he was drawn to the idea of training the ‘inner eye’ of reason, and he hoped that his images would provide tools for spiritual discernment. He worked as a schoolmaster and priest until 1329, when he fled Pavia for political reasons and entered the papal court in Avignon. One year later, he was employed as a scribe in the office of the papal penitentiary.

He produced two illuminated works, both of which are untitled (Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, Pal. lat. 1993 and Vat. lat. 6435). The former, known simply as the Palatinus manuscript, encompasses 52 large individual parchment sheets drawn in pen and ink with images on both sides; they feature schematic compositions that combine portolan charts, zodiacs, calendars and human figures, to form complex composite images. The second work, the Vaticanus manuscript, is done in pen and ink on paper and is more of an author’s daybook, collecting thoughts, meditations and images on a variety of topics. His work was not known until the publication of the Palatinus manuscript by R. G. Salomon in ...

Article

Sonja Weih-Krüger

[Preisler]

German family of painters and engravers, of Bohemian origin, also active in Denmark. Daniel Preissler (b Prague, 8 March 1627; d Nuremberg, 19 June 1665), a pupil in Dresden of Christian Schiebling (1603–63), lived from 1652 in Nuremberg, becoming a master in 1654 and being nominated to the city’s Greater Council in 1662. He painted altarpieces and numerous portraits, including a Self-portrait of the Artist with his Family (1665; Nuremberg, Ger. Nmus.)

Daniel’s son, Johann Daniel Preissler (b Nuremberg, 17 January 1666; d Nuremberg, 13 October 1737), was born after the death of his father; ten years later his mother married her husband’s pupil, Heinrich Popp (1637–82), who became Johann Daniel’s first teacher. On Popp’s death in 1682 Johann Daniel was apprenticed to the painter Johann Murrer (1644–1713). He spent the period 1688–96 in Venice and Rome, returning in ...

Article

Elisheva Revel-Neher

(b Budapest, 1927; d Paris, 2008).

Art historian and scholar of Jewish and Christian art, active in France. Known as the ‘grande dame’ of Jewish art, Sed-Rajna came to Paris in 1948. She became Director of the Hebraic Section of the Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) and then taught at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes and at the Institut d’Etudes Juives of the Université Libre in Brussels. In 1976 she founded with Bezalel Narkiss the Jerusalem Index of Jewish Art and became President of the European Association for Jewish Studies. She published six pioneering books and numerous articles, scrutinizing the role played by the artistic heritage of the Jewish people.

In all her works the visual expression of the Jewish tradition was envisioned in the larger framework of the history of arts. Her immense knowledge of both texts and images led her to publish in ...