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3. Stones

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Chapter Summary

Study of the physical properties of Padua's Hebrew tombstones offers access by an alternate route to the tastes and values of Padua's Jews in the early modern era and at the dawn of the modern age. For the relief carved in the Cappella dell'Arca in the Basilica di Sant'Antonio of Padua both a drawing and a full-size three-dimensional model were prepared, and the drawing survives. This account of the art of stone carving is true for both the Middle Ages and early modern era, as the craft remained unchanged until the advent of pneumatic tools. The Padua tombstones exhibit a variety of architectural designs. These features characterize the top of the tombstone, while the main body is usually a rectangular tablet. The earliest pilasters are found on the 1483 tombstone in memory of Ogye bat Jacob, currently housed in Padua's civic museum.

Keywords: earliest pilasters; early modern era; Middle Ages; Ogye bat Jacob; Padua tombstones



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