Holy Places

AUCTION 39 | Thursday, April 03rd, 2008 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters & Graphic Art

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Lot 334

Holy Places

Multicolor gouache on thick paper Expertly repaired on verso. 18 x 25 1/2 inches

circa 1870

Est: $5,000 - $7,000
In this highly stylized and impressionistic portrayal of traditional sacred Jewish burial places in the Land of Israel, the numerous sepulchres collapse into neat rows - regardless of vast geographic differences. Thus, in this artistic collage we have the Temple Mount and Western Wall in Jerusalem at top center, flanked on the left by the Tomb of Rachel (actually south of Jerusalem in Bethlehem). The row directly below at left, contains the tombs of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs (actually further south in Hebron). The next row down, we have a depiction of the tomb of R. Shimon ben Yochai in Meron; a row lower, the city of Tzfat; and in the bottomost row, the city of Tiberias. (Geographically, Meron and Safed in the Upper Galilee, and Tiberias, are all north of Jerusalem.) The architecture is Ottoman, the crescent moons on several of the buildings betray Islamic influence. This genre of tableau was quite popular in the 19th-century. Many of the books described by Shoshanna Halevy in her bibliography of texts printed in Jerusalem have such stylized depictions of the holy places as frontispieces