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,
these beautiful carpet pages, so named because they looked like Persian
These pages were scribes artwork. I fell in love with ancient Hebrew
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
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
to have originated in Mesopotamia and spread to Syria, Palestine, Arabia
The Persian, Syrian, Palestinian, Arabian and Egyptian forms did allow
forms of people and animals, but used beautiful geometric and floral
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.