Scroll of Esther
Germany, c1700
Parchment, ink, paint, written, painted; height: 37 cm, length: 237 cm

This Esther scroll, executed in a very painterly style, is one of a group of three by this unidentified artist. (The others are in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and the Joods Historisch Museum in Amsterdam.) The costumes and hairstyles of the figures indicate a dating of around 1700. The use of glue to connect the segments rather than sewn sinews and the architecture of the buildings contribute to the probable German origin.

· This example has a number of distinguishing features:
· The text is done in octagonal.
· A parade of nude women, taken from classical depictions of the muses, is used to illustrate the story of Vashti.
· A rendition of the zodiac is used, with a man pointing to Adar, the Hebrew.

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