Scroll of Esther
Italy, c1750
P, ink, paint,sinews, written, painted; height: 29.5 cm, length: 613 cm

One of the most sumptuous Italian Scrolls of Esther, this 18th-century example has many putti rendered in a late Renaissance style of 100 years earlier than its probable dating. It is clear that the scroll was illuminated by a professional artist. Except for the unidentified family coat of (whose style indicates a Roman origin), there are no Jewish subjects depicted. Rather the decorative scheme consists of putti in shades of blue and pink, floral decorations and classical muse type figures atop each text column, many of whom are holding trumpets.

There is a separate illuminated sheet of blessings. The large size, exceptional length and professional execution of the illuminations set this scroll in the highest quality category among known Italian Scrolls of Esther.

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