Select manuscript from this collection: B26  S13 S24  S58  77/80
Country of Location:
Country of Location
Switzerland
Location:
Location
Zürich
Library / Collection:
Library / Collection
Braginsky Collection
Shelfmark:
Shelfmark
S17
Manuscript Title:
Manuscript Title
Megillat Esther (מגילת אסתר) / Esther Scroll
Caption:
Caption
Parchment · 1 f. · 27.6 x 227 cm · Amsterdam · around 1675
Language:
Language
Hebrew
Manuscript Summary:
Manuscript Summary
This profusely illustrated Dutch scroll is distinctive for its thirty-eight illustrations drawn in sepia ink. The decoration of the scroll begins with a triumphal arch reminiscent of Roman Triumphal arches constructed for royal festivities throughout Europe from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century. The scroll also contains some unusual representations. One is of Mordecai standing in a room with a wall filled with books. He is portrayed as a scholar, perhaps reflecting a rabbinic tradition that informs us of his remarkable knowledge of seventy languages, which helped him uncover the plot against Ahasuerus. Another striking illustration is the depiction of two merrymaking dwarves dancing and playing stringed instruments in celebration of the Jews’ delivery from destruction. (red)
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
DOI (Digital Object Identifier
10.5076/e-codices-bc-s-0017 (http://dx.doi.org/10.5076/e-codices-bc-s-0017)
Permanent link:
Permanent link
http://e-codices.unifr.ch/en/list/one/bc/s-0017
IIIF Manifest URL:
IIIF Manifest URL
IIIF Drag-n-drop http://e-codices.unifr.ch/metadata/iiif/bc-s-0017/manifest.json
How to quote:
How to quote
Zürich, Braginsky Collection, S17: Megillat Esther (מגילת אסתר) / Esther Scroll (http://e-codices.unifr.ch/en/list/one/bc/s-0017).
Online Since:
Online Since
03/22/2017
External resources:
External resources
Rights:
Rights
Images:
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e-codices · 01/25/2017, 16:52:36

This profusely illustrated Dutch scroll is distinctive for its thirty-eight illustrations delicately drawn in sepia ink. The artist created a rhythmic cadence in this work by surmounting the first text column of each membrane with an arch, inside of which two winged putti raise a crown. The other text columns
are surrounded on all four sides by elegant interior and exterior scenes, rendered with masterful use of perspective, which portray events relating to the
Esther story.
Within a banderole at the bottom of each illustration the scribe penned a descriptive text. These explanatory words, written in semi-cursive script, are excerpts from the Targum Sheni, an extensive Aramaic paraphrase of and midrashic commentary on the book of Esther. Despite the inclusion of
quotes from the Targum Sheni, few images incorporate visual references to its midrashic tales. The first illustration, a depiction of Ahasuerus seated
on King Solomon’s throne, does, however, relate to an extensive narrative in the first chapter of the Targum Sheni that describes the splendor of this
throne, how the rulers who conquered Jerusalem transferred it to Babylonia, and how it arrived later in Shushan.
This scroll also contains some unusual representations. One is of Mordecai standing in a room with a wall filled with books. He is portrayed as a scholar, perhaps reflecting a rabbinic tradition that informs us of his remarkable knowledge of seventy languages. The Talmud relates that his understanding of foreign languages helped him uncover the plot of Bigthan and Teresh against Ahasuerus, an act that led to Mordecai’s eventual recognition and rise in government. Another striking illustration is the depiction of two merrymaking dwarves dancing and playing stringed instruments in celebration of the Jews’ delivery from destruction. The dwarves appear to be based on engravings by the artist Jacques Callot (1592–1635) who created a series in which they were featured as the central subject.
Throughout the scroll, the artist incorporated classical elements, as seen, for example, in the inclusion of classically inspired armor in depictions of Haman and the servants of the king. The decoration of the megillah begins with a triumphal arch reminiscent of Roman triumphal arches constructed for royal festivities throughout Europe from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century.

A Journey through Jewish Worlds. Highlights from the Braginsky collection of Hebrew manuscripts and printed books, hrsg. E. M. Cohen, S. L. Mintz, E. G. L. Schrijver, Amsterdam, 2009, p. 232.

e-codices · 01/25/2017, 16:49:17

zeichnet sich vor allem durch ihre 38 fein ausgeführten szenischen Sepiazeichnungen aus. Über der ersten Textkolumne eines jeden Pergamentblatts erscheinen Putti, die eine Krone über einem Textband halten. Eine weitere Rhythmisierung des Dekors wird durch die regelmässige Abfolge von vegetabilen Ornamenten und erzählenden Darstellungen erzielt. Auf dem Vorsatzblatt sind die Segenssprüche in einen klassischen Triumphbogen eingeschrieben.
Bestechend sind die elegant ausgeführten Szenen aus der Esther-Erzählung in meisterhafter perspektivischer Gestaltung. Eine Schriftbanderole erklärt das jeweilige Bild mit Texten aus dem Targum Scheni, einer ausführlichen aramäischen Paraphrase des Buches Esther mit Midrasch-Kommentaren, d.h. mit Kommentaren aus der rabbinischen Auslegungsliteratur. Das Bild mit Ahasverus auf dem Thron Salomons ist ein solches visuelles Zitat aus dem ersten Kapitel des Targum Scheni: Es beschreibt, wie die Eroberer Jerusalems den Thron raubten und später nach Susa verbrachten. Diese Rolle enthält auch eine Reihe von recht ungewöhnlichen Darstellungen, etwa die Szene, in der Mordechai vor einer Bücherwand steht: Im Talmud erscheint Mordechai als Gelehrter, der siebzig Sprachen beherrschte, weshalb er in der Lage war, die Verschwörung Bigtans und Tereschs gegen Ahasverus aufzudecken. Ebenso ungewöhnlich sind die zwei musizierenden und tanzenden Zwerge in der Manier des Zeichners und Graveurs Jacques Callot (1592–1635). In ihrer Freude über die Errettung der Juden treiben die beiden ihre Spässe, wobei der eine Zwerg mit dem Geigenbogen des anderen auf seinem Schelleninstrument spielt.

Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, Hrsg. von Emile Schrijver und Falk Wiesemann, Zürich 2011, S. 280.

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A Journey through Jewish Worlds. Highlights from the Braginsky collection of Hebrew manuscripts and printed books, hrsg. E. M. Cohen, S. L. Mintz, E. G. L. Schrijver, Amsterdam, 2009, p. 232.

Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, Hrsg. von Emile Schrijver und Falk Wiesemann, Zürich 2011, S. 280.

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Front cover
Front cover