WORD AND IMAGE. JEWISH BIBLICAL MANUSCRIPTS, ILLUMINATED AND DECORATED, FROM THE AMBROSIANA LIBRARY’S COLLECTIONS

In honour of Luisella Mortara Ottolenghi Rachel Tova

Curated by Claudia Milani

EXHIBITION EXTENDED UNTIL FEBRUARY 12

Displaycases rooms 2 and 3

Detail from Ms B 30 inf, f. 1 verso, dettaglio

The relation between God’s word revealed and images to illustrate it, has always been particularly close for Jewish tradition. The ban on depiction of living beings and the demigods for the purpose of religious worship (see. Exodus 20,4-6; Deuteronomy 5,8-10) did not give rise to iconoclast episodes, except for rare cases. On the contrary “the Jews always committed themselves to art, even figurative art in its most free expressions, without interruption and throughout different ages” (Cecil Roth). This close relationship is clearly shown in the biblical manuscripts illuminated and decorated that, through the centuries, the Jewish genius produced. These have been displayed systematically for the first time in Italy fifty years ago (2 to 28 March 1966) at the Trivulziana Library in Milan, curated by Valeria Antonioli Martelli and Luisa Mortara Ottolenghi. The exhibition of Jewish illuminated manuscripts at the Ambrosiana is therefore simultaneously a tribute to the work done half a century ago by the curators and a new opportunity to show to the public some of the most precious and rare manuscripts that the Biblioteca Ambrosiana has collected over the centuries, thanks to the ingenious intuition of Cardinal Federico Borromeo, who opened it to the public on December 8, 1609. The exhibition is also enhanced by a precious Biblical illuminated codex loaned by the Jewish Community of Venice.

Pinacoteca Ambrosiana
November 8, 2016 – February 12, 2017
Tuesday -Sunday from 10.00 to 18.00; Monday closed
Closed December 25, January 1
Exhibition included in the admission ticket to the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana