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Friday, April 06, 2012

Happy Holidays

With Passover and Easter nigh upon us, here are a couple of holiday-related items from our collection.

The two-volume Mahzor Minhag Roma, published by the Soncinos in 1485/1486, is the first printed Jewish prayerbook and includes the Passover haggadah. The haggadah section marks another first--it is illustrated with the earliest known printed illustration of a matzah. As you can see in the image below, the circular matzah is labelled with the Hebrew word for matzah.

Mahzor Minhag Roma, Soncino/Casal Maggiore: The Sons of Soncino, 1485/6. Incun 485m Image by Rick Echelmeyer

This pen-and-ink depiction of the Crucifixion is one of a pair of drawings in our collection removed from a 16th-century Flemish prayerbook (the other depicts the Nativity). In this image, the Crucifixion is surrounded on three sides by thirteen scenes from the Passion, beginning with Christ praying at Gethsemane and concluding with the entombment of Christ and the women leaving the tomb. Four of these scenes are copied after prints made in 1512 by Albrecht Dürer; our version appears to have been made a generation later.

Flemish artist, Crucifixion and thirteen scenes from the Passion. 1530-1540. 1954.602

Happy holidays!

Kathy Haas is the Assistant Curator at the Rosenbach Museum & Library and the primary poster at the Rosen-blog

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