Sat 29 Sep 2012
Reading and Learning about the holiday of Sukkot which starts at sunset on Sunday I was reminded that Sukkot is among other the date when the First Temple of Jerusalem was consecrated by King Solomon. My idea for this festive blog entry is to mention a few works of art that represent the image of the Temple, one of the historical buildings that marked the history of the Antiquity and of the modern world, a place of high significance for Judaism and Christianity. While the destruction of the Temple twice in history on the day of 9 Av was largely represented, the images created in history of the Temple do not include only destruction. They also represent the vision of the artists about this place where the stone met the spirit, the building, the inauguration by Kinf Solomon, the re-building after the first time it was destroyed.
The Construction of the Temple was imagined in the 15th century by Jean Fouquet, a master of manuscript illumination, in a book illustrated around 1470-1475 similar to the construction of the Gothic cathedrals that were raised and finished in that part of Europe during his times.
The representation drawn by Jacob Judah Leon was famous in the mid 17th century. Leon was a descendant of Spanish Jews and translated the Psalms from Hebrew for the European audiences of the time. In 1643 this engraved plan as well as a description of the Temple based on the original Bible information was presented to King Charles II of England.
The Dedication of the Temple by King Solomon was imagined by French artist James Jacques Joseph Tissot in this painting dated between 1896 and 1902.
This is the way Neapolitan painter Giuseppe Bonito imagined King Solomon praying in front of the temple around 1750
Gustave Dore was one of the most famous illustrators of the Bible. Here is his vision of the re-building of the Temple at the return from the Babylonian exile.
Mark Podwall is a contemporary textile artist, and this vision of the Temple is a detail from a curtain created for the Altneuschul in Prague.
Here is contemporary Israeli artist Yael Avi-Yonah’s utopian vision of the future city of Jerusalem and of the Third Temple
seen from the Mount of Olives, surrounded by the River of Life. Emerging from its entrance is the Tree of Life represented by a DNA helix molecule.
Hag Sukkot Sameakh!