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Images Tell A Tale Of Place And Time: A Methodological Study Of Artwork In Service Of Context

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Chapter Summary

This chapter was conceived by the author in November 2006 when he received an image of a Mahzor fragment that Professor Andreas Lehnardt sent to him for art-historical identification. The author was asked to localize and date the Mahzor fragment on the basis of its illustration and to comment on the frequency with which such decorative devices appear in contemporary Hebrew manuscripts. The chapter examines the method for dating and localizing a manuscript by using art-historical criteria. It presents the methodology by which non-textual features may serve as keys for the study of a manuscript and for ascribing it to a specific place and time, using style as the main parameter for evaluation. Script and image are the two main components of an illuminated manuscript; the examination of these two components leads to quite different results regarding the origin and dating of a manuscript.

Keywords: art-historical criteria; Hebrew manuscripts; image; Mahzor



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