Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Getty Museum's freakin' amazing ancient Hebrew manuscript

By Tom Teicholz
Decorated Text Page (Book of Exodus) from the Rothschild Pentateuch, France and/or Germany, 1296courtesy of the Getty Museum
LOS ANGELES, CA---No ordinary biblical manuscript, the Rothschild Pentateuch is notable for, as Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum said recently, “Its richly illuminated pages – a great rarity in the thirteenth century – make it a work of outstanding quality and importance that represents the pinnacle of artistic achievement of its day. It will be one of the most signal treasures of the Department of Manuscripts and indeed of the Getty Museum overall.” In advance of the current exhibition, “Art of Three Faiths: Torah Bible, Qur’an,” where the Pentateuch is now on exhibit, The Getty Museum was kind enough to let me examine the manuscript in one of the Getty’s workrooms. To be in the presence of such an amazing cultural and religious artifact, so well preserved, and to examine it closeup was head-spinning and intoxicating. [More]