Monday, March 19, 2018

Unusual Purim Art

By Saul Jay Singer
Arthur Szyk, Purim, The Holiday Series. New Canaan.
When most people think of artistic media, they rarely consider postage stamps, which are typically viewed as simply a means to transmit mail. In fact, stamps are miniature works of art that represent one of the purest examples of graphic design, as they chronicle the history and arts of the issuing country and reflect the national ethos and culture. This is particularly true of Israeli stamps that, above and beyond being among the most beautiful in the world, have particular significance to us as Jews and as Zionists. Israel annually issues a set of “Moadim L’Simcha” stamps commemorating the Jewish New Year, which are always among my favorites, but it also periodically issues stamps commemorating the other Jewish holidays, including Purim. [More]

Shown here is a beautiful depiction of Purim by the famous artist, Arthur Szyk (1894-1951). Characteristic of his work, it employs a multiplicity of Purim themes, including a megillah, various plates of hamentashen, a broad spectrum of generations of Jews, and people dressed as characters from the Purim story.