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Musée d'art et d'histoire du Judaïsme

Retour A Selection of Works Festivals and domestic ceremonies

Scroll of Esther, megillah
Scroll of Esther, megillah

Shalom Italia
ca. 1641
Carved wood, copperplate engraving on vellum
H 48 - 26,5 - L 440 cm

Photo Gilles Berizzi. Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Paris
Salom Italia (attributed to)

Élie Nahmias bequest

Salom Italia was born in Lisbon around 1619 and emigrated to Italy; he trained as an artist in Mantua and in the Venice region, and finally settled in Amsterdam in 1641. He is known for a portrait of the illustrious Menasseh Ben Israel but he was particularly famed for his Megillah illustrations, featuring characteristic arches with imposing pediments often supporting female figures: between the columns on this scroll the characters of the story are depicted: King Ahasuerus, Queen Esther, Haman and Mordekhai.

The allegorical female figure on top of the arch represents victory and abundance. She is flanked alternately by helmeted angels and archangels. Salom Italia was in the habit of signing the frontispiece of his works. In this copy, the frontispiece was redone to add the owner’s coat of arms. However, it is still possible to attribute this scroll to him, or at least recognize his strong influence.

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