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Jewish Art and Cultural Exchange: Theoretical Perspectives

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This paper deals with cultural exchange, an issue crucial for the study of medieval Jewish art. It aims to propose a more precise definition of Jewish pictorial art than that of a minority operating within different majority cultures by discussing different theoretical concepts. The paper presents, on the one hand, historical-anthropological models of interpretation, and theoretical formulations derived from literary studies on the other. These concepts are examined in several art-historical test cases from the field of Jewish art in which the issue of cultural exchange is particularly crucial. Conclusions drawn from these test cases may shed light on the applicability of such models in the context of visual culture.

Affiliations: 1: Department of the Arts, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev P.O. Box 653, Beer Sheva 84105 Israel

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