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Passover Haggadah
Moravia (?), Austrian Empire
1732
Scribe and artist: Nathan ben Samson of Meseritz (active 1722–39)
Handwritten on parchment; black ink, watercolor, gouache, gold powder; square and semi-cursive Sephardic script (“Amsterdam letters”)
H: 29; W: 23 cm
Gift of Jakob Michael, New York, in memory of his wife, Erna Sondheimer Michael
Accession number: B68.0140 ; 180/061

Nathan ben Samson of Meseritz, Moravia, was amongst the most prolific and talented Jewish scribes and artists of the important revival of Hebrew book illumination that occurred in Central Europe during the 18th century. He copied and illustrated some 25 manuscripts between 1722 and 1739.

This Haggadah was produced for Ephraim ben David Weisel and his wife, Rosa. As in most 18th-century Haggadot, the decoration derives mainly from printed illustrated versions of the Haggadah, rather than from medieval manuscripts. Nathan’s style is outstanding for its bright, colorful palette and for his rendition of the Seder rites as lively genre scenes.


From the Israel Museum publications:
Perugia, Gioia (ed.), Treasures of Jewish Art: The Jakob, Erna, and Charles Michael Legacy in the Israel Museum, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2016

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir



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