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In researching old Hebrew texts, I came across a facsimile copy of the Leningrad Codex,
named for the city library where it had been housed. I read the inroduction, which mentioned
these beautiful carpet pages, so named because they looked like Persian carpets.
These pages were scribes artwork. I fell in love with ancient Hebrew scribal artwork.
I have sought books out in the library and scoured the net for examples of this beautiful art form.
My preference is the older form,which was more design work, rather than the latter middle ages
form of painting pictures depicting animals and people or a combination thereof.
Some of the scribal art included verses or passages in Hebrew, that helped form the design.

This art form goes by several names: scribal art, carpet pages, micrography,
Hebrew illumination and illuminated manuscripts. Hebrew scribal artwork seems
to have originated in Mesopotamia and spread to Syria, Palestine, Arabia and Egypt.
The Persian, Syrian, Palestinian, Arabian and Egyptian forms did allow
forms of people and animals, but used beautiful geometric and floral patterns.
Many of these are of Qaraiym design, rather than Rabbinic.

This form of scribal artwork was not limited to just the scriptures, but came to be used
in the kethuboth, marriage contracts of the Hebrews.

 

 

 


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