Ask the average Jewish person to name a religious Jewish text printed in Hebrew and with illustrations and they will probably mention the Haggadah. This is the book used on the first two nights of Passover to tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt.
But you can also find illustrated versions of the Book of Esther which is read aloud on the festival of Purim and many illustrated marriage contracts (ketubahs).
I found this out while reading up on the renowned Professor Emile Schrijver who will be giving a fascinating talk here at the museum on Thursday 15 Jan at 7pm.
Professor Schrijver works at the University of Amsterdam where he is Professor of Jewish Book History and curator of the Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana. He is also one of the curators of the private Braginsky Collection of Hebrew Manuscripts and Printed Books in Zurich, Switzerland.
For his talk Professor Schrijver has selected a range of examples from the 15th to the 19th century. He will tell his audience the stories behind the creation of these books and documents and about the lives of the artists who created them.
Incidentally, Judaism generally disapproves of the presentation of the human form in art – it could be considered a form of idolatry! However in practice, it is considered acceptable on a small scale such as in a book illustration, but large scale presentations such as sculptures are best avoided.
You can book for this talk by phoning 0161 834 9879. Tickets are £5.