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(Isayevich)

(b Vinnitsa, Ukraine, Dec 22, 1889; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], Dec 12, 1970).

Russian painter, graphic artist, sculptor and designer of Ukrainian birth. He studied painting at the School of Art in Odessa (1901–7) under Kiriak Kostandi (1852–1921), at the same time attending classes in sculpture. In 1908–9 he made a series of pointillist paintings. He visited Vienna and Munich in 1910 before going to Paris, where he worked at Vasil’yeva’s Free Russian Academy until 1912, producing paintings on Jewish themes and studying Cubism. In 1912 he went to St Petersburg, where he painted a number of Cubist portraits, for example of the poet Anna Akhmatova (1914; St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.). His Cubist work makes much use of faceting and transparent planes. From 1918 to 1921 he taught at the Department of Visual Arts (IZO) of Narkompros in Petrograd, but he was criticized for his attempts to identify Futurism with the art of the proletariat. Al’tman became well known as the designer of post-Revolutionary mass parades and monuments, for example the celebration of the first anniversary of the Revolution on ...

Article

Sarit Shalev-Eyni

Thirteenth-century Ashkenazi illuminated Bible (Milan, Ambrosiana, MSS. B.30–32 INF). One of the earliest illuminated Hebrew manuscripts originating in Germany, it is a giant manuscript in three volumes, containing the twenty-four books of the Hebrew Bible. As attested by a colophon at the end of the first volume, the Bible was commissioned by Joseph ben Moses from Ulmana, possibly referring to Ulm in Swabia or to Nieder-Olm in the Rhineland. The Bible was copied by Jacob ben Samuel and was massorated and vocalized by Joseph ben Kalonymus in collaboration with another masorete. The first part was completed between 1236 and 1238. The three volumes were illuminated by two artists, whose style is related to the 13th-century school of Würzburg. Illustrations with biblical scenes are located mainly within the initial word panels of the various biblical books, or at their end. Some of the illustrations carry a messianic or eschatological meaning. A broad cosmological composition occupies an opening at the end of the third volume, suggesting an impressive climax for the entire Bible. The full page miniature on the right illustrates the seven heavens, accompanied by the four animals of Ezekiel’s vision and the luminaries (fol. 135...

Article

Sergey Androssov

(Matveyevich)

(b Vil’no [now Vilnius], Lithuania, Nov 2, 1843; d Bad-Homburg, July 9, 1902).

Russian sculptor of Lithuanian birth. He was the son of an innkeeper of modest means. From 1862 he studied under Nikolay Pimenov (1812–64) as an occasional student at the Academy of Arts (Akademiya Khudozhestv) in St Petersburg. While still a student he produced two high relief sculptures, which attracted attention for their realism and which were awarded silver medals: the Jewish Tailor (wood, 1864) and The Miser (wood and ivory, 1865; both St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.). In 1871 Antokol’sky left Russia for health reasons. He worked first in Rome and then, from 1877, in Paris. He gained fame in Europe mainly through a number of monumental statues on subjects drawn from Russian history: Ivan the Terrible (marble, 1875; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.), Nestor the Chronicler (marble, 1890) and Yermak (bronze, 1891; both St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.), and also on subjects connected with the history of religion and philosophy: ...

Article

[Bronstein, Max]

(b Tuchów, Poland, July 13, 1896; d Jerusalem, June 18, 1992).

Israeli painter of Polish birth. As a young boy he greatly admired El Greco, Goya and Rembrandt. From 1920 to 1925 he studied at the Bauhaus, Weimar, under Klee, Kandinsky, Johannes Itten and Lyonel Feininger and the following year studied painting techniques at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Munich under Max Doerner. During the 1920s he changed his name from Max Bronstein to Mordecai Ardon. He taught at the Kunstschule Itten in Berlin from 1929 to 1933, when Nazi persecution forced him to flee to Jerusalem. Though he had been an active Communist in Germany, in Jerusalem he soon found a great affinity with Jewish religion and culture. In 1935 he was made a professor at the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem, and was its Director from 1940 to 1952.

Ardon’s early paintings show the influence of Expressionism, as in Seated Woman in a Straw Chair...

Article

Ark  

Article

Ita Heinze-Greenberg

(b Berlin, March 3, 1877; d Jerusalem, Oct 25, 1930).

German architect, teacher and writer, active in Palestine . He studied architecture (1895–1901) at the Technische Hochschule, Charlottenburg, Berlin, spending one summer term at the Technische Hochschule, Munich. His student works revealed exceptional skill as a draughtsman and he won the Schinkel Medal (1906) for his design (unexecuted) of an architectural museum. In the following year he became Königlicher Regierungsbaumeister for the Prussian state, where his early work included various houses and shops and the restoration of a residential block (1908), Kaiserin–Augusta Street, all in Berlin. He also assisted the architect Ernst Ihne in the construction of the neo-Baroque Preussische Staatsbibliothek (1908–13), Berlin. In 1909 he was sent to Haifa, Palestine (now Israel), by the Jüdisches Institut für Technische Erziehung to take over the architectural design and building of the Technion, which was carried out in stages (1912–24). Sited on the slopes of Mount Carmel, near Haifa, the main building is symmetrical with an emphasis on the central entrance. Middle Eastern elements, such as the dome, the flat roof with pointed crenellations and the arcaded passages, together with symbolic Jewish forms such as the Star of David, in the sparse decoration, testify to Baerwald’s intention to create an architecture that was a synthesis of Middle-Eastern culture and Western technique. The whole complex was built in locally quarried sandstone and limestone, reflecting the architect’s preference for stone....

Article

Ron Fuchs

(b Mogilev, Russia [now Belarus’], Oct 6, 1877; d Tel Aviv, July 18, 1952).

Israeli architect of Russian birth. He graduated at the Art Academy, St Petersburg, in 1911, and practised in St Petersburg until 1921, when he settled in Palestine. After two years as chief architect of the Public Works Office of the Histadruth (the General Federation of Jewish Labour in Eretz-Israel), he set up in private practice in Tel Aviv. In his early buildings Berlin developed a highly personal vocabulary of simplified classicist ornament adapted to the simple materials and craftsmanship then available in the city. A notable example is the power station (1925), Jaffa. His most original contribution, however, was his unique use of silicate bricks, the chief building material in Tel Aviv at the period and an early product of its burgeoning industry. Leaving the brick unplastered, he created playful abstract patterns, faintly reminiscent of Expressionism and Art Deco. Examples include Berlin’s own house (1929), 59 Balfour Street, and the Moghrabi Theatre (...

Article

Rachel Hachlili

Synagogue in Hefzibah, Israel, notable for its 6th-century ad mosaic pavements. It was first excavated in 1929 by E. L. Sukenik and N. Avigad. It consisted of a courtyard, a vestibule and a main hall (27.7×14.2 m). The north façade of the hall had three entrances; on the floor adjacent to these, mosaic depictions of a lion and a bull flank two inscriptions. One, in Greek, commemorates the craftsman who laid the mosaics; the other, in Aramaic, places the date of the synagogue’s construction in the reign of Justinus (probably Justinus II, reg ad 565–78). The main hall was divided into a nave and two aisles by two rows of plastered stone pillars. The south wall of the nave ended in an apse, orientated towards Jerusalem, which housed the Ark of the Scrolls and possibly also two menorahs (ritual candlesticks). Benches were built along the east, west and south walls; a door in the western aisle led into a side room....

Article

Rachel Hachlili

[Beth She’arim]

Jewish necropolis near the town of Beth Shearim in the lower Galilee. In the early 3rd century ad the site became a noted centre of learning under the great scholar Rabbi Judah ha-Nassi (c. 135–217). His burial there made the site holy ground, and it became the chief burial place for Jews from the land of Israel and neighbouring regions. It was destroyed in ad 352. The necropolis consisted of catacombs, most of them of the 3rd and 4th centuries; they had courtyards in front and portals, with stone doors made to resemble wooden doors with nails. Each catacomb contained numerous tombs; some had several burial halls spaced out along corridors that were cut into the rock of the hillside. The tombs were mainly loculi [compartmented graves] or arcosolia [vaulted niches]. The dead were laid in arcosolia, coffins or decorated stone, marble or terracotta sarcophagi. On the walls were carved, painted or incised decorations; like those of the sarcophagi, they were in a popular style that combined Hellenistic and Oriental elements. Characteristic of the style are scenes from pagan mythology and Jewish motifs, such as the menorah, the Ark of the Scrolls and various ritual objects. Some of the catacombs belonged to one family, others were public. Burial at Beth Shearim was a commercialized public enterprise directed by a burial society, which may have sold burial places....

Article

Bible  

Don Denny, Karen Gould, M. Heinlen, Gerhard Schmidt, Nigel J. Morgan and Thérèse Metzger

Term meaning ‘the books’, derived via Latin from Greek, used to refer to the sacred writings of Judaism and Christianity. The Bible is composed of two parts: the Hebrew scriptures or Old Testament, written originally in Hebrew (with some parts in Aramaic), which consists of the writings of the Jewish people; and the New Testament, composed in Greek, which records the story of Jesus and the beginnings of Christianity. The stories, moral teachings, and theological doctrines in the Judeo-Christian Bible have provided subjects for an immense body of visual art. Although predominantly a Christian art form (see §I below), a significant body of Jewish imagery has been inspired by the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament (see §II below). For Christians, a canon of biblical books was established in the Early Christian period, although many apocryphal books continued to circulate; from the late medieval period onwards poetic and dramatic reinterpretations of biblical narratives were popular. Much of this extra-canonical literature contributed to the development of such important subjects in Christian art as the ...

Article

Bimah  

Article

Julia Detchon

(b Lübeck, 1937).

Uruguayan conceptual artist, critic, educator, and curator of German birth, active in the USA. Of Jewish ancestry, he fled with his family to Uruguay in 1939. He studied at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1953–1957 and 1959–1962, working with students to reform the school’s curriculum. In 1961, a Guggenheim fellowship took him to New York to study printmaking. Though he retained his Uruguayan citizenship, he settled permanently in New York, where he taught at the Pratt Graphics Art Center; co-founded the New York Graphic Workshop in 1964 with Liliana Porter (b 1941) and José Guillermo Castillo (1938–1999); and in 1971 helped establish New York’s Museo Latinoamericano and its subsequent splinter group, the Movimiento de Independencia Cultural de Latino América. From the 1970s, political repression in Latin America inspired a series of conceptual installations that addressed such issues as language, identity, freedom, political violence, and the role of art. For Camnitzer, the task of the artist was to identify and express the problems that surrounded him, transforming art into a political instrument. His questioning of traditional values applied not only to the themes of his work, but to its material form; employing objects of little intrinsic value, he rejected traditional notions of art as beautiful and of commercial worth....

Article

Rachel Hachlili

[Capharnaum, Kafarnaum; now Kefar Nahum]

Town located on the north-west shore of the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret), Israel. Mentioned in the New Testament as a place visited by Jesus, it is traditionally held to have been the home of St Peter. Two synagogues have been identified in Capernaum, the second built on the remains of the first, as well as an octagonal area thought to be the site of a church of St Peter, built where his house was believed to have stood. The town was destroyed in the 7th century ad.

The earlier synagogue, dated to the 1st century ad, has been tentatively identified with the synagogue at Capernaum, the building of which is mentioned in Luke 7:5. Excavators have found a basalt cobbled pavement and several basalt walls, which run under the south wall and the east and west stylobates of the main hall of the later limestone synagogue. Benches along the walls are assumed, but no entrance has been found. The dating of the limestone synagogue is in dispute. In ...

Article

Susan Compton

[Shagal, Mark (Zakharovich); Shagal, Moses]

(b Vitebsk [now Viciebsk], Belarus’, July 7, 1887; d Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Alpes-Maritimes, March 28, 1985).

French painter, draughtsman, printmaker, designer, sculptor, ceramicist, and writer of Belarusian birth. A prolific artist, Chagall excelled in the European tradition of subject painting and distinguished himself as an expressive colourist. His work is noted for its consistent use of folkloric imagery and its sweetness of colour, and it is characterized by a style that, although developed in the years before World War I, underwent little progression throughout his long career (see.g. I and the Village, 1911; New York, MOMA). Though he preferred to be known as a Belarusian artist, following his exile from the Soviet Union in 1923 he was recognized as a major figure of the Ecole de Paris, especially in the later 1920s and the 1930s. In his last years he was regarded as a leading artist in stained glass.

Chagall spent his childhood, admirably recorded in his autobiography, in a warm Hassidic family in Vitebsk [now Viciebsk], with frequent visits to his grandfather’s village home. He attended the traditional Jewish school but afterwards succeeded in entering the local Russian high school, where he excelled in geometry and drawing and determined to become an artist. At first he studied locally in the studio of ...

Article

Diane Apostolos-Cappadona, Ralph M. Cleminson, John W. Cook, Susan von Daum Tholl, Suzy Dufrenne, Anne-Mette Gravgaard, Catia Galatariotou and Joseph A. Munitiz

World religion that arose in Palestine in the 1st century ad. Springing from Judaism (see Jewish art, §I), it accepts the sacred nature of the Hebrew scriptures, but unlike Judaism and Islam (see Islam, §I) it also accepts Jesus (d c. ad 30) as the Christ (Gr.: ‘Anointed one’), as divine rather than prophetic. Also central to Christian belief is the idea of the salvation of the soul through citizenship of the kingdom of God, which is attained in the rite of baptism. There are now three main branches of Christianity—Orthodox (the Eastern Church), and Roman Catholic and Protestant (the Western Church)—but there are also many sects (see also Baptists and Congregationalists; Calvinism; Friends, Religious Society of; Huguenots; Lutheranism; Methodism; Mormons; Shakers; Unitarianism). The life of Jesus is given in the Gospels. Born, according to these and in accordance with Christian prophecy, of a virgin, he was an itinerant preacher who went to Judaea from Nazareth in Galilee. He proclaimed the advent of God’s kingdom on earth, witnessed in his own presence and in his teaching. His activities led to his crucifixion in Jerusalem, but according to Christian doctrine he was resurrected and assumed bodily into Heaven. The Christian message was spread by his closest disciples, the Apostles, but above all by St Paul (...

Article

Katrin Kogman-Appel

Hebrew Bible (Jerusalem, National.. Library of Israel., MS. Heb 4°790, and a single page in Toledo, El Transito Synagogue and Sephardic Museum), copied c. 1260, perhaps in Toledo by Menachem ben Abraham ibn Malikh for Isaac bar Abraham Hadad, both members of known and documented Toledan families. At some later stage further decorations were added, apparently in Burgos. The Damascus Keter is an outstanding exemplar out of approximately 120 decorated Bibles from Iberia and belongs to a group of three very similar codices from the middle of the 13th century, produced in Toledo. It thus represents a rich tradition of Jewish art flourishing between the 13th and the 15th centuries. These Bibles were used either by scholars for private study, or for biblical readings during synagogue services.

Typical of numerous Bibles from the Middle East and the Iberian Peninsula, the decoration consists of numerous carpet pages executed in Micrography and enriched by painted embellishments. This is a technique typically used in Hebrew decorated books and harks back to Middle Eastern manuscripts of the 10th century. Apart from the carpet pages, the Damascus ...

Article

Malcolm A. R. Colledge, Joseph Gutmann and Andrew R. Seager

[now Qal‛at as Sāliḩīyah.]

Site of a Hellenistic and Roman walled city in eastern Syria, on a plateau between two gorges on the west bank of the middle Euphrates. The name combines elements that are Semitic (Dura) and Macedonian Greek (Europos). Dura Europos was founded by the Seleucids in the late 4th century bc at the intersection of east–west caravan routes and the trade route along the Euphrates. It was later a frontier fortress of the Parthian empire and after its capture in ad 165 fulfilled the same role for the Roman empire. After the Sasanian siege in ad 256–7 the city was abandoned. The results of excavations by French and American archaeologists in the 1920s and 1930s threw light on the process of synthesis between Classical and indigenous populations and cultures in Syria-Palestine during Hellenistic and Imperial Roman times. The excavated remains include a synagogue (see §3) with an important cycle of biblical paintings and an Early Christian meeting-house (...

Article

Ronald Alley

Term applied to the loose affiliation of artists working in Paris from the 1920s to the 1950s. It was first used by the critic André Warnod in Comoedia in the early 1920s as a way of referring to the non-French artists who had settled and worked in Paris for some years, many of whom lived either in Montmartre or Montparnasse, and who included a number of artists of Eastern European or Jewish origin.

From c. 1900 a number of major artists had been attracted to the capital because of its reputation as the most vital international centre for painting and sculpture; these included Picasso, Gris and Miró from Spain, Chagall, Soutine and Lipchitz from Russia or Lithuania, Brancusi from Romania and Modigliani from Italy. The prominence of Jewish artists in Paris and of foreign artistic influences in general began by c. 1925 to cause intense resentment and led to the foreigners being labelled as ‘Ecole de Paris’ in contrast to French-born artists such as ...

Article

Thérèse Metzger

(b ?Soria, Old Castile; fl c. 1300–12).

Spanish scribe and illuminator of Jewish origin. He worked at Tudela, Navarre, and at Soria, Castile. His colophons allow his hand to be securely identified in five manuscript Bibles. In one case (1306; Oxford, Bodleian Lib., MS. Kenn. 2), he used a conventional colophon; elsewhere, he concealed clues either in the painted illuminations (1302; Paris, Bib. N., MS. hébr. 21) or, more frequently, in the micrography and ornamental forms of the masorah (apparatus criticus; see Micrography) that he copied (Dublin, Trinity Coll. Lib., MS. 16; Lisbon, Bib. N., MS. Il.72, dated 1300; Paris, Bib. N., MS. hébr. 20, dated 1300; and a single page of the Paris Bible of 1302; see also Jewish art, §V, 1).

From the formulae and placing of Joshua’s different colophons, it is possible to deduce the extent and nature of his contribution to the copying and illumination of the manuscripts he signed. As a copyist, writing in square script, he probably worked on the ...

Article

Katrin Kogman-Appel

Richly illuminated manuscript of the Passover liturgy together with a series of liturgical poems to be read during the Passover week (London, BL, Add. MS. 27210), possibly made in Barcelona, c. 1320. This text was to be recited during the seder ceremony at the eve of the Passover holiday. Like most medieval Haggadot (see Haggadah), the Golden Haggadah has no colophon, and its scribe and patrons are unknown. It contains both marginal decorations and a series of full-page miniatures preceding the text and displaying a fully fledged cycle of biblical illustrations following the books of Genesis and Exodus from the Creation of Man to the Crossing of the Red Sea. Stylistically both types of decoration are indebted to early 14th-century Catalan Gothic art.

Similarly, the imagery of the biblical picture cycle also draws on Christian Old Testament iconography and reflects a familiarity with Christian art. The artists and patrons of the Golden Haggadah adopted Christian pictorial sources in a complex process of adaptation and modification, translating the Christian models into a Jewish visual language meaningful in its messages to the Jewish readership. Avoiding themes and iconographic features of a particular Christological concern, the imagery also reflects a close affinity with the traditions of late antique Bible interpretation (Midrash). This points to a specific circle of scholars active in Iberia during the 13th and early 14th centuries as being responsible for the imagery of the cycle. The use of traditional midrashic Bible exegesis is typical for Sephardic Rabbis of anti-rationalist standing, who opposed earlier philosophical trends and followed, rather, scholarly trends common among the Tosafists of northern France. It has also been observed that some images adopt a more specific anti-Christian stance and address polemical issues....