The Power of Script and Image
Distributed for British Library
In Hebrew Manuscripts, Ilana Tahan explores the fascinating milieu that Jewish scribes and artists worked in during the medieval period. With Judaism widely suppressed, these bookmakers were heavily influenced by the artistic trends of the majority cultures that surrounded them. This isolation from other Jewish communities led to two dominant traditions within Hebrew illumination styles: those that drew from Islamic art for inspiration and those that exhibited an affinity with Christian methods. Nonetheless, the exquisitely crafted images reproduced here are a vivid testimony to a distinctly Jewish creativity and passion for books and an enthralling look into the world of Jewish rituals and customs.