Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rejoicing of the Law

The Feast of the Rejoicing of the Law at the Synagogue in Leghorn by Solomon Alexander Hart
The Feast of the Rejoicing of the Law at the Synagogue in Leghorn (Livorno)
1850, oil on canvas by Solomon Alexander Hart (1806-1881)
The Jewish Museum, New York

Using one of the artist's few observations of a Jewish structure during his Italian tour, the work shows the interior of the magnificent synagogue in Leghorn, originally built in 1591.
This interior is perhaps the foremost example of the lavish redecoration common to Italian synagogues in the eighteenth century. Hart captures a romantic vision of the exotic dress of his Italian coreligionists as they parade the scrolls of the Law on Simhat Torah, the feast of the rejoicing of the Law.
This marks the end of the fall harvest festival, Sukkot, and is the holy day on which the yearly cycle of reading the Pentateuch ends, immediately beginning again with Genesis.

(Masterworks of the Jewish Museum, New York, 2004)

Synagogue of LivornoThe old synagogue was destroyed in the Second World War, but some of its balusters survive in the tebah of the new one.

See also: Synagogue of Livorno - Inside the Synagogue - Moses Montefiore
External links: The Jewish Museum, New York
Search labels: synagogue


Luis Gomez said...

Great post VP!

Anonymous said...

Enjoy learning new things! I like that after the war they used what hadn't been destroyed to build something new!

Traveling Hawk said...

The painting is great and the photo is very interesting. I have never been inside a synagogue.

Michelle said...

I do like that painting. Just beautiful.

Randy said...

Wonderful! I love that painting.

Jack said...

Great post, VP. The painting is wonderful. with exquisite details in the fabrics.

Small City Scenes said...

Wonderful oil--amazing detail. Also amazing is the fact that even though the older synagogue was destroyed some was saved and used again. MB

Dina said...

Only the Torah scrolls have not changed since the days of your painting.
The modern synagogue looks much brighter.
Every time you mention an old, important building that was destroyed in the war, I cringe.
Thanks for this special post, VP.

Cezar and Léia said...

Very interesting story about this synagogue, it's so great they rebuilt it.
The painting is wonderful, specially the columns and the arch!Beautiful indeed!

Gunn said...

Interesting and nice posting.
Thanks for sharing.

cieldequimper said...

Very romantic painting and yet so good that it shows what used to be.

Leif Hagen said...

A very interesting photo inside the Synagogue!

Unknown said...

Very interesting, VP.

EG CameraGirl said...

So much was destroyed during the Second World War! Thank goodness there's a painting to remind us of what once was to compare it with what is there now.

Francisca said...

What a rich painting. It awes me to look at those men wearing those intricate fabric clothes back then. Our fashions have, to some extent, become simpler. The beautiful balusters fit perfectly in the modern synagogue. Good post, VP.