Artibus et Historiae no. 17 (IX), 1988
252 x 232 mm
ISSN 0391-9064
90 EURO
Add to cart
Contents
VIVIAN B. MANN - «New» Examples of Jewish Ceremonial Art from Medieval Ashkenaz (pp. 13—24)

Earlier literature on Jewish ceremonial art from medieval Ashkenaz (the Jewish community of Northern France and the Rhineland and areas under its influence) encompassed only a small number of extant objects from that period. These can be divided into two groups: those that are uniquely Jewish in form, and those that represent an adaptation of types in general use. The present study enlarges the corpus by integrating material published in general sources or recently discovered in treasure troves. Some of these works had not been previously identified as Judaica, for example the double cups known as Doppelkopf or Doppelscheuer. The popularity of this last form among Ashkenazi Jews is indicated by numerous representations of the type in illuminated Hebrew manuscripts, and can be understood in the context of German customs and the evolution of the Jewish marriage ceremony during the High Middle Ages. 

JOSEPH GUTMANN - The Dura Europos Synagogue Paintings and Their Influence on Later Christian and Jewish Art (pp. 25—29)

The amazing discovery of the Dura Europos synagogue, accurately dated 245 A.D., has raised many scholarly questions. Some scholars, for instance, armed with the presumptive stern injunction of the Second Commandment, were utterly shocked by this archaeological find, and have had to revise their preconceived theories. Another major scholarly debate is whether the Dura synagogue paintings exerted an influence on later Christian and Jewish art. According to some scholars, there exist definite iconographic parallels between the Dura synagogue depictions and medieval Spanish, Byzantine and Jewish art. The paper examines the iconographic features found in the biblical illustrations of the Dura synagogue and in later medieval art and comes to the conclusion that no concrete and indisputable connection can be established. 

COLIN EISLER - Power to Europe's Chosen Peoples. A New Maccabean Page for Louis XIV by Liévin Cruyl (pp. 31—38)

In his discussion of two previously unknown drawings by Liévin Cruyl, the author points out the significant identification of Europe's rulers and their states with Israel. Cruyl's page for Louis XIV draws upon renderings of reconstructions of the Temple of Solomon, and it was that building which provided the point of departure for many of the leading palaces - the Escorial and the Louvre, among others. Not only did the identification of the monarchy with the Tree of Jesse - the ancestors of Christ, placing them among the descendants of David - justify its rule, such association was also made by the new mercantile republics. Venice and the Northern Netherlands, both perpetually rescued from and by the sea, associated their profitable economy with that of the Jews, whose way of life was freed from the communism so fundamental to the tenets of early Christianity. 

RALF BUSCH - Constantin Uhde als Synagogenarchitekt (pp. 39—48)

The Brunswick architect Constantin Uhde (1836-1905) erected the Brunswick synagogue and fellowship house in 1873-74. These structures are influenced a great deal by the Romanesque style. Following a visit to Spain in 1888, he integrates elements of Moorish style into his Wolfenbüttel synagogue. These come even stronger to fore in his planned Dortmund synagogue, 1896 (never built), in order to "point out the Oriental origin of the people and the symbolism of their religion". The Gentile Uhde sensitively identifies with an imaginary "national" style and historicizes in a time where elsewhere "new architecture" was attempting to find more modern style forms.

GABRIELLE SED-RAJNA - La danse de Miryam (pp. 49—54)
 Miriam's Dance
 
Biblical illustration in Late Antiquity was characterized by illustrating the text episode by episode, as well as by embellishing the narration with elements rooted in Jewish legend. Such detailed illustration is known to us today from Christian landmarks and manuscripts. These traditions were passed on in a way difficult to trace, and survived until the Middle Ages. Some of these elements also appear in the fourteenth-century Haggadot Biblical cycles in Spain. However, a comparison image by image between the Haggadot cycles and those on the Christian landmarks shows that it could not possibly have been the Christian that served as a model for the Jewish ones. The Haggadot Biblical illustrations probably derive from traditions originating in Jewish milieux around the year 200, and these were transmitted through Jewish communities, perhaps in Southern Italy or North Africa, to the artists of the Iberian peninsula in the fourteenth century. It is probably through a parallel line of transmission that certain elements of this tradition came down to the Christian artists whose works permit a partial reconstruction of the original ancient tradition. 
 
ZIVA AMISHAI-MAISELS - The Iconographic Use of Abstraction in Jankel Adler's Late Works (pp. 55—70)
The fluctuation of Jankel Adler's style during World War II between abstraction and figuration has been explained until now in purely stylistic terms. In this article, the reasons for this development are seen to derive from Adler's war-time experiences and from his attempts to deal with the Holocaust in his art. The development of this reaction is traced from Girl with Rocking Toy, of 1941, through the major works of 1943, Destruction, Beginning of a Revolt, and No Man's Land, in all of which the stylistic fragmentation of the figure is shown to have a distinct iconographic meaning. This is equally true of Adler's enigmatic Treblinka, of 1948, whose pictorial and stylistic sources are explored. In the final analysis, Adler's use of abstraction is shown to result from his need to express a current, frightening reality from a safe distance. 
 
KURT SCHUBERT - Die Weisen von Bne Braq in der Haggadaillustration des 18. Jahrhunderts (pp. 71—81)
The Wise Men of Bne Braq in Haggadah Illuminated Manuscripts of the Eighteenth Century
 
The iconography of the Amsterdam Pesach Haggadah (print 1695; 1712) is influenced by Mathaeus Merian's Icones Biblicae. Its "ideator " was a Christianwho converted to Judaism in Amsterdam. The German-Ashkenaz scribes and painters of the eighteenth century repeatedly followed the prototypes of the Amsterdam editions of prints, which they for the most part only slightly, but also at times more fundamentally varied. Especially difficult for them was the portrayal of the five wise men of Bne Braq, who debated the Exodus until morning. The prototype for this scene was Merian's portrayal of the banquet given by Joseph in Egypt for his brothers. But the number of persons seated at the table did not fit at all. The scribes and painters mostly reduced the number, but only rarely did they succeed in reducing the number to five. Further details were conducive to adapting the scene to the text of the Haggadah: the fact that it is morning; the presence of a bookshelf, defining those seated at the table as scholars. In contrast to the German-Ashkenaz scribes and painters, those in Italy were influenced by the Venetian prints of 1599 and 1609, which were also occasionally used by German-Ashkenaz illuminators. 
 
URSULA SCHUBERT - Die rabbinische Vorstellung vom Schaubrottisch und die Bibel von S. Isidoro de Leon, a.d. 960 (Real Colegiata, cod. 2, fol. 50r) (pp. 83—88)
The Rabbinical Conception of the Showbread Table and the San Isidoro de Leon Bible, 960 A.D. (Real Colegiata, cod. 2, fol. 50r)
 
In contrast to the portrayal of the showbreads in two rows next to each other in the Codex Amiatinus (Northumbria, seventh century), in the Spanish Hebraic manuscripts of the Late Middle Ages the showbreads are arranged on the table in two rows on top of each other. The portrayal was not supplied by the corresponding chapters in Exodus and Leviticus, but instead, above all, by the pertinent considerations of the rabbinical scholars in the Mischna, Menahot XI. A completely unexpected parallel to the portrayal of the showbreads arranged on top of each other on the showbread table is found in the San Isidoro de Leon Bible, 960 A. D., and in both extant copies of this manuscript of 1162 A. D. and the beginning of the thirteenth century, respectively. The high priest Aaron, shown together with sacred objects within the holy tabernacle, is surprisingly portrayed in the garb of a high priest in the same context in both the Dura Europos synagogue (mid-third century A. D.) and the Regensburg Pentateuch (Bavaria, ca. 1300). In addition, in the latter the showbread table has the same misleading appearance as in the Christian Bible of 960, in which it is designated as "labrum" and is therefore undoubtedly misunderstood. Such "misunderstandings", together with the unusual position of the showbreads on the table, for which only rabbinical scriptures could be the source, support the belief that the suspected fifth-century prototype for the Bible of 960, at least for the portrayal of fol. 50r, was based on a late classical Bible illumination of Jewish origin. 
 
PHILIPP P. FEHL - The Stadttempel of the Jews of Vienna: Childhood Recollections and History - Statuten für das Bethhaus der Israeliten in Wien (1829) - Appendix: Isaac Noah Mannheimer's Preface to His Collected Chancel Orations (delivered at the Stadttempel)
This essay attempts to bring to life the architecture of Vienna's oldest synagogue, the classicistic Stadttempel by Joseph Kornhäusel, in terms of the tradition of the worship and spiritual hopes for the sake of which it was founded. The author's childhood was lived, to some extent, under the shelter of this tradition. He draws on his memories to find access to his interpretation of historical data connected with the foundation of the Tempel and to explore the interconnection of the style of the Tempel's architecture and the religious function of the building. The duties and problems of an author's personal involvement in the writing of history, and especially the history of art, are a major concern. 
 
Added to the essay are a transcription of the first by-laws of the Stadttempel and Isaac Noah Mannheimer's (the Tempel's first spiritual leader's) preface to the collection of his chancel orations in which he expounds the Tempel's founders' purposes and hopes in an appropriately lofty style, which may be compared to the elevated language of the Tempel's architecture. 
 
MOSHE BARASCH - Reflection on Tombstones: Childhood Memories (pp. 127—135)

The article is devoted to the images found on some of the mid-eighteenth- to nineteenth-century tombstones in the Jewish cemetery of Czernowitz, the author's hometown. As tombstones are a product of an essentially social art, the social conditions in which the tombstones were produced are examined. in particular, the author illustrates who the carvers were and how they were trained. Then the artistic treatment of the tombstones is discussed. Especially the script and the decorative motifs are the subject of closer scrutiny. The writer concludes than an interpretation of the tombstones holds the key to an understanding of the complex and rich community life of an irrevocably lost culture, which has yet to receive the attention it deserves. 

JOSEPH MANCA - Renaissance Theater and Hebraic Ritual in Ercole de' Roberti's Gathering of Manna (pp. 137—147)

The setting of Ercole de Roberti's Gathering of Manna forcibly recalls the staging used for secular plays produced in Ferrara at the end of the Quattrocento. This reflection of theater design in a painting is more that an empty, formal borrowing, for it can be shown that the theatricality of the picture probably reflects several arguments put forth by L. B. Alberti and Pellegrino Prisciano, who connect the origins of theater with primitive religious celebrations and, more specifically, with the events that surrounded the original Gathering of Manna. Furthermore, the theatricality of the picture, along with other aspects of the Gathering of Manna, turns out to serve as flattery of Duke Ercole I d'Este, having as its aim a subtle comparison of the Duke with Moses. 

JACK WASSERMAN - Observations on Two Statues in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo and the Porta della Mandorla in Florence (pp. 149—165)

In opposition to current belief, two early Quattrocento statues in the Museo dell' Opera, Florence, assumed to represent an Annunciation, are shown not to have been executed for the lunette of the Porta della Mandorla. Close examination of the physical structures of the statues, the principal method used for this demonstration, reveals that they were designed to be viewed more panoramically, even especially in the case of the angel, than a two-dimensionally disposed lunette would allow, and they do not form a narrative group at all. The study proceeds to develop the minimum requirements the original sites of the statues must have had, and concludes with speculations on the character and fate of the missing Annunciation group that did occupy the lunette of the Porta della Mandorla beginning in 1414. 

CARLO DEL BRAVO - L'armonia del Ribera (pp. 167—188)
Ribera’s Concept of Harmony
 
The young Ribera seems to have had some relationship to Bernardo Strozzi and the Capuchin Fathers. However, the dominant iconology in Ribera's works seems to come from the tradition of local "Evangelism", as in Luis de Molina, with a focus on the imitation of Christ in mildness and humility, and with the main sources being St. Matthew and St. Augustine. 
By reconstructing this coherent iconology, Ribera's images of physical decay are not to be considered apart from those of beauty, in accordance with the Augustinian assertion of the relative beauty of all creation since it derives its existence and form from God, nor from the assertion of a higher universal harmony, where all things fit into their proper place. What we see as ugly comes, if anything, from limiting our attention to what is particular. 
MARCIN FABIAŃSKI - The Cremonese Ceiling Examined in Its Original Studiolo Setting (pp. 189—212)

The paper discusses the problem of the original shape and meaning of the vault fresco painted for a prior's house in Cremona, probably by Alessandro Pampurino ca. 1500, but now kept in London. The design of this umbrella dome seems to have been modified in view of the prospective decoration: smaller lunettes do justice to profiles of Caesars and the smooth apex enhances pictorial illusionism of the oculus. Both modifications suggest that the enterprise was directed by one person. The chamber of the vault belonged to was relatively secluded. The images of Caesars (some could be identified), the Muses and grotesquerie may well have been connected with its function as a place of solitary studies and literary activities (studiolo-musaeum), whereas the meaning of the painted oculus remains obscure.