The Jewish communities of northern Italy were active participants in the extraordinary flourishing of arts and culture that define the Renaissance. This installation of two rare and sumptuous Hebrew manuscripts explores the fascinating cross-cultural interaction between those Jewish communities and their Christian and humanist surroundings in the fifteenth century. A Jewish scribe and Christian artist working in tandem produced these monumental works of art that bear witness to the prosperity, power, and discernment of the Jewish patrons who commissioned them.
This installation pairs two of the finest Hebrew illuminated manuscripts from the Italian Renaissance. The Misneh Torah of Maimonides, a landmark of Jewish jurisprudence, returns to The Met after a five-year sojourn at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The Rothschild Mahzor, a luxury prayer book, is on special loan from the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary. Last shown to the public in the 1990s, this great treasure painted by multiple artists working in Florence offers page after page of exquisite decoration.
The pages of the manuscripts will be turned every 3 months to allow visitors to take in their cumulative majesty.