Rothschild Haggadah

Israel Museum (Jerusalem, Israel)

Alternate Titles:

Rothschild-Haggadah

Facsimile edition
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Codiology

Alternate Titles

Rothschild-Haggadah

Type
Extent / Format

44 pages / 21.0 x 15.6 cm

Origin
Date
1479
Style
Genre
Language
Patron

Moses ben Yekutiel Hakohen

Illustrations

All pages are illuminated with raised burnished gold, flat gold, powdered gold and brilliant, delicate colours

Former owners

Rothschild family

Short description

The famous Rothschild Haggadah is considered to be one of the most precious Haggadahs in the history of Hebrew illumination. The Haggadah is stored in Jerusalem’s Israel Museum as a part of the grandiose Rothschild Miscellany. The manuscript was a commission of Moses ben Yekutiel Hakohen from the year 1479 and was made in Northern Italy. Thus it presents the wonderful illustrations of the Passover in the exuberant style of the Italian Renaissance. Alongside the classic prayers and texts for Passover, the Rothschild Haggadah also contains Maimonides’ Hilchot Chamety Umatza, the text of the Piyyut and a text concerning medieval weights and measures. Lavish Illumination of the highest quality makes the Rothschild Haggadah a masterpiece!

Facsimile editions available

Description

Rothschild Haggadah

The famous Rothschild Haggadah is considered to be one of the most precious Haggadahs in the history of Hebrew illumination. The Haggadah is stored in Jerusalem’s Israel Museum as a part of the grandiose Rothschild Miscellany. The manuscript was a commission of Moses ben Yekutiel Hakohen from the year 1479 and was made in Northern Italy. Thus it presents the wonderful illustrations of the Passover in the exuberant style of the Italian Renaissance. Alongside the classic prayers and texts for Passover, the Rothschild Haggadah also contains Maimonides’ Hilchot Chamety Umatza, the text of the Piyyut and a text concerning medieval weights and measures. Lavish Illumination of the highest quality makes the Rothschild Haggadah a masterpiece!

A Hebrew Renaissance Manuscript

In 1479, Moses ben Yekutiel Hakohen commissioned this impressive manuscript. The patron must have been a man of great wealth and taste who wanted this work to represent his riches and sophistication. Yet nonetheless, the Rothschild Haggadah is simultaneously a work of deep spirituality. So came about one of the most precious Haggadahs to ever be created! North-Italian illuminators created a magnificent potpourri of Italian Renaissance painting on the manuscript’s 44 pages.

Passover in Precious Pictures

The Rothschild Haggadah impresses, inter alia, with its variety of gold elements: fine gold dust was applied alongside elevated burnished gold and flat gold leaf in order to illuminate the manuscript’s decoration. All of it is in wonderful harmony with the delicate yet luminously bright colors of the illustrations! Alongside the main text in the middle of the page, the Rothschild Haggadah contains the Ashkenazi Seder ritual, at the margin of Maimonides’ Hilchot Chamety Umatza. This text contains laws concerning leavened and unleavened bread and gives a classic overview of Passover and its ceremonies. Additionally, the text of the Piyyut is listed, with liturgical poems and songs for all four evenings of the Passover Festival. A medieval text about weights and measures rounds out the exciting content of the manuscript.

The Fateful Provenance

Today the Rothschild Haggadah, as a part of the famous Rothschild Miscellany, is considered to be the outstanding treasure of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The collection’s famous manuscript with the shelf mark Heb. 4° 6130 can look back on an eventful history. Its name comes from its former owners, the Rothschild dynasty. James A. de Rothschild was the one who gifted the manuscript to the Israel Museum. The Rothschild Haggadah had previously been stolen by the Nazi’s during the Second World War and returned to the possession of the Rothschild family through a lucky coincidence.

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