“Maimonides: A Legacy in Script” at Israel Museum, Jerusalem

“Maimonides: A Legacy in Script” at Israel Museum, Jerusalem

The Israel Museum in Jerusalem is showcasing “Maimonides: A Legacy in Script,” an exhibition that brings together works by the 12th century Jewish scholar, philosopher and physician who was known as a true Renaissance man of his era.

Maimonides today is best known for his wise words, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” The legend wrote many other wise words throughout his lifetime, including medical texts, philosophical treatise, legal commentaries, and his magnum opus “Mishneh Torah,” which codified and explained the Talmud, or laws of Jewish religious observance, in a way that it could be accessible to people of diverse levels of education. These writings were published in the form of ornate illuminated manuscripts, created by specialized artists and book makers of the Middle Ages.

The exhibition at Israel Museum through April 28, 2019, showcases 11 of his illuminated manuscripts, along with three original writings by the scholar’s own hand, including notations he made in his own handwriting, and his original signature. “All of them are highlights because it is really the first time we create this encounter with so many of his illuminated manuscripts and also objects from his own time,” said Anna Nizza Caplan, a curator at the Israel Museum, in a telephone interview.

The manuscripts were created by local artists in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Yemen, and are on loan from prestigious institutions worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Vatican and the Royal Library of Denmark.

The exhibition includes Volume I of the “Mishneh Torah,” on loan from the Vatican Library, as well as Volume II, jointly owned by the Israel Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art since 2013. According to the Met’s website, the manuscript’s 15th century “detailed illustrations, executed in the style of Northern Italian Renaissance miniature painting, along with the manuscript’s elegant script, make it one of the finest extant illuminated copies of the Mishneh Torah ever to be created.”

“The fact that we have so many of these illuminated manuscripts of Maimonides’s writing shows the very high esteem that many people had towards him,” said Nizza Caplan. “He was accepted, received and studied on such a high level that the patrons of these manuscripts used them not only for study, but also as art objects.”

 

For details please visit: https://www.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/3462413/illuminated-manuscripts-by-maimonides-at-israel-museum

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