Art & Ceremony in Jewish Life


24 x 17 cm
436 pp. 210 illus.
Publication: 2005
ISBN 1 899828 96 6
ISBN-13 978 1 899828 96 8


Book Description

Since turning to the field of Jewish art over twenty years ago, Vivian Mann has concentrated on investigating Jewish ceremonial art within the dual contexts of Jewish law, and the history of decorative arts in general, including the ceremonial art made for the Church and the Mosque.

The introduction to this volume considers classic rabbinic attitudes toward art and its relationship to spirituality. The remaining essays are divided into three groups: the first concerns medieval ceremonial art; the second, articles on the Jewish art of Muslim lands beginning with the early Middle Ages; and the third consists of essays on Judaica during the periods of the Renaissance and rococo.


  • Introduction
  • Art and Spirituality through the Rabbis’ Eyes
  • The Art of the Middle Ages. Torah Ornaments before 1600
  • ‘New’ Examples of Ceremonial Art from Medieval Ashkenaz
  • Sephardi Ceremonial Art
  • Toward an Iconography of Medieval Ashkenazi Synagogues
  • The Unknown Jewish Artists of the Middle Ages
  • A Fifteenth-Sixteenth Century Box in the Jewish Museum and its Transformation
  • A Jewish Patron in Twelfth-Century Cologne: the Samson/Hercules Tablemen
  • Jewish Art in Muslim Lands – The Middle Ages and Later. The Covered Gospels, The Torah Case and the Qur’an Box
  • Between Worshipper and Wall: the Place of Art in Liturgical Spaces
  • The Art of Convivencia in Spain and Morocco
  • Jewish-Muslim Acculturation in the Ottoman Empire: The Evidence of Ceremonial Art
  • Memory, Mimesis, Realia: Jews and Art in Morocco
  • Renaissance to Rococo. The Rediscovery of a Known Work
  • The Golden Age of Jewish Ceremonial Art in Frankfurt: Metalwork of the Eighteenth Century
  • Defining Jewish Art: The Case of Two Eighteenth-Century Book Covers
  • Forging Judaica: The Case of the Italian Majolica Seder Plates
  • Additional Notes
  • Index

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