web analytics
March 4, 2015 / 13 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Home » Sections » Arts »

Kestenbaum’s Gems

Sacrifice of Isaac (20th century) gouache on paper by Shalom of Safed Courtesy Kestenbaum & Company

Sacrifice of Isaac (20th century) gouache on paper by Shalom of Safed Courtesy Kestenbaum & Company

Finally the top section delineates the climatic moment of aborted sacrifice. Previously the narrative figures have all moved from right to left echoing the actual Hebrew text and the figures of Abraham, Isaac bound on the altar, and the ram caught in a tree-like “thicket” similarly follow this pattern. The great exception is the angel flying in from the left to grasp Abraham’s knife and stop Isaac’s slaughter. Once you notice this device, the visual tension becomes palpable and reflects Abraham’s pietistic frustration (noted in the midrashic commentaries) at being unable to complete the sacrifice as commanded by God. At the altar he has removed his shoes and donned a tallis, details that are Shalom’s unique invention and commentary. In Shalom’s vision, Abraham is the consummate obedient Jew, blindly doing God’s bidding. It is a brilliant and complex, if chilling, depiction of the Akeida.

In my extremely selective survey (I haven’t even touched upon the hundreds of fascinating books and manuscripts, not to mention Judaica offered) of this one pre-auction exhibition at Kestenbaum’s we have seen a breathtakingly wide-ranging survey of Jewish visual art from 1553 to the late 20th century. We have touched the Jewish cultures of Italy, Central Europe, India, Israel and America as we sampled holy texts, home ritual, Biblical narrative and finally the End of Days. Not half bad and not to be missed.

Richard McBee is a painter and writer on Jewish Art. Contact him at rmcbee@nyc.rr.com.

About the Author: Richard McBee is a painter and writer on Jewish Art. Contact him at rmcbee@nyc.rr.com


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Kestenbaum’s Gems”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
An Arab sheikh hands out flowers in a gesture of brotherhood and good will.
Haifa U Research Confirms, ‘Think Good & It Will Be Good!’
Latest Sections Stories
Yarden Merlot

Bottles of wine accompany the Pesach storytelling – each glass of wine represents the four expressions used by G-d in describing the redemption of the Jewish people from Egypt.

Schonfeld-logo1

There is a point that many parenting books miss: children do more for us than we do for them.

Brigitte was a nine-year-old girl when Islamic militants launched an assault on a Lebanese military base and destroyed her home.

The husband needs to make some changes!

Purim is a fantastic time for fantasies, so I hope you won’t mind my fantasizing about how easy life would be if kids would prefer healthy cuisine over sweets. Imagine waking up to the call of “Mommy, when will my oatmeal be ready?”… As you rush to ladle out the hot unsweetened cereal, you rub […]

‘Double Gold’ awarded to 2012 Yarden Heights wine & 2011 Yarden Merlot Kela Single Vineyard.

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

One of the earliest special Purims we have on record was celebrated by the Jews of Granada and Shmuel HaNagid, the eleventh-century rav, poet, soldier and statesman, and one of the most influential Jews in Muslim Spain.

Jews, wake up! Stop educating the world and start educating yourselves.

The lessons conform to the sensitivities and needs of the Orthodox community…

The program took on special significance as it marked not only the first anniversary of Rebbetzin Kudan’s levayah but also the 27th yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, a”h.

It was only in the reign of George III (1760-1820) that Jews became socially acceptable in Britain, and Nathan became music master to Princess Charlotte and musical librarian to King George IV.

More Articles from Richard McBee
Jerusalem to Jericho Road: photograph by Chanan Getraide
“Chanan Getraide Photographs”: 2004 exhibition at Hebrew Union College Museum

“We are living in a Golden Age of Jewish Art, but don’t know it.”

McBee-062014-Outside

He refuses to flinch from our painful history, perhaps finding a kind of solace in the consistency of irrational enmity directed against us.

“Vidduy: The Musical” breaks through the formidable barrier of repetitive confession to allow us to begin to understand what is at the heart of this fundamental religious act.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Silverstein’s work has long concerned itself with the intersection between the personal and Jewish Biblical narrative, significantly explored in this column in “Brighton Beach Bible” (July 27, 2009).

Not surprisingly the guardians of synagogue tradition is male dominated in both Moses Abraham, Cantor and Mohel and Synagogue Lamp Lighters.

Neither helpless victims nor able to escape the killer’s clutches, the leaders had to make impossible choices on a daily basis in a never-ending dance with the devil.

Bradford has opted to fully exploit the diverse possibilities of the physical surface by concentrating on the three-dimensional application of paint (impasto) and other material.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/arts/kestenbaums-gems/2012/06/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: