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The Hidden Couple An Unexecuted Underdrawing In The Catalan Micrography Mahzor

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the two pages of the Catalan Micrography Mahzor, which constitutes a response to some of the major questions that were part of polemical discourse of thirteenth and fourteenth centuries: the nature of God, the Messiah, the refutation of the Jewish commandments, and the Verus Israel. The discovery of underdrawing that remained unfinished and eventually made way for another design and deciphering its meaning in tandem with its counterpart, the mounted falconer, disclosed the full significance of these images as planned by scribe-artist. The chapter examines the iconographic context of planned image, which, it appears, must have been charged with controversial meaning of some kind, so that a quick mirror copy of decoration on recto of the page was substituted. It argues that the image was borrowed from Christian iconography and planned for adaptation to a Jewish context, but for some reason it was found to be unsuitable.

Keywords: Catalan Micrography Mahzor; Christian iconography; Jewish commandments; Messiah; underdrawing; Verus Israel



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