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Cultural ExchangeJews, Christians, and Art in the Medieval Marketplace$
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Joseph Shatzmiller

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691156996

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691156996.001.0001

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Christian Artists and Jewish Patronage

Christian Artists and Jewish Patronage

(p.113) Chapter Six Christian Artists and Jewish Patronage
Cultural Exchange

Joseph Shatzmiller

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores the fact that the marketplace brought Jews in touch with Christian artists and craftsmen, where they learned to value their skill and expertise. That this helped to shape their sensitivity to what was considered then as beautiful is shown plainly by their preparedness to hire Christian artists and craftsmen to decorate Hebrew prayer books and to create for them objects with which Jews performed their liturgical obligations. These Christian professionals were not necessarily familiar with the intricacies of the Jewish religion, and when not consulting a Jew, at times committed mistakes. The late Ruth Mellinkoff went a step further and claimed that the deformed way Jews are presented in these Hebrew manuscripts was due to the hostility of these Christian painters toward the rival religion.

Keywords:   Jews, Christian artists, Hebrew prayer books, liturgical obligations, Ruth Mellinkoff, rival religion, marketplace

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