DESCRIPTION : Here for sale is an original MAGNIFICENT and EXTREMELY RARE ca late 1940’s Jewish Judaica ART BOOK with DRAWINGS , ETCHINGS and PAINTINGS by REMBRANDT which he prepared on BIBLICAL themes. The book is bound by a luxurious artificial LEATHER BINDING which was designed by the artists of the BEZALEL school of art in Jerusalem. The mounted top binding is beautifuly designed with a pattern of flowers and plants and it has an embossed copper relief with the image of the OLD CITY of JERUSALEM with the TEMPLE MOUNT and Al-Aqsa Mosque. Published in ERETZ ISRAEL (Palestine) in the late 1940’s by JABNE (Yavneh) in TEL AVIV. REMBRANDT was known for his special connection to the Jewish People and to the Jewish heroes and heroins of the Bible , The Old Testament. The book consists of REMBRANDT’s numerous pictures. A LUXURIOUS edition in HEBREW. Original BEZALEL ART binding. Around 100 throughout illustrated chromo pp. 7 x 9.5. Very slight shelf wear of cover. (Pls look at scan for accurate AS IS images). Book will be sent in a special protective rigid sealed package. AUTHENTICITY : The book is an ORIGINAL late 1940’s copy, NOT a reprint or recent edition , It holds a life long GUARANTEE for its AUTHENTICITY and ORIGINALITY. Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn /rmbrænt, -brnt/; Dutch: [rmbrnt rm(n)son vn rin] (listen); 15 July 1606 4 October 1669 was a Dutch draughtsman, painter, and printmaker. An innovative and prolific master in three media,  he is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art and the most important in Dutch art history.  Unlike most Dutch masters of the 17th century, Rembrandt’s works depict a wide range of style and subject matter, from portraits and self-portraits to landscapes, genre scenes, allegorical and historical scenes, biblical and mythological themes as well as animal studies. His contributions to art came in a period of great wealth and cultural achievement that historians call the Dutch Golden Age, when Dutch art (especially Dutch painting), although in many ways antithetical to the Baroque style that dominated Europe, was extremely prolific and innovative, and gave rise to important new genres. Like many artists of the Dutch Golden Age, such as Jan Vermeer of Delft, Rembrandt was also known as an avid art collector and dealer. Rembrandt never went abroad, but he was considerably influenced by the work of the Italian masters and Netherlandish artists who had studied in Italy, like Pieter Lastman, the Utrecht Caravaggists, and Flemish Baroque Peter Paul Rubens. Having achieved youthful success as a portrait painter, Rembrandt’s later years were marked by personal tragedy and financial hardships. Yet his etchings and paintings were popular throughout his lifetime, his reputation as an artist remained high,  and for twenty years he taught many important Dutch painters.  Rembrandt’s portraits of his contemporaries, self-portraits and illustrations of scenes from the Bible are regarded as his greatest creative triumphs. His self-portraits form a unique and intimate biography, in which the artist surveyed himself without vanity and with the utmost sincerity.  Rembrandt’s foremost contribution in the history of printmaking was his transformation of the etching process from a relatively new reproductive technique into a true art form, along with Jacques Callot. His reputation as the greatest etcher in the history of the medium was established in his lifetime and never questioned since. Few of his paintings left the Dutch Republic whilst he lived, but his prints were circulated throughout Europe, and his wider reputation was initially based on them alone. In his works he exhibited knowledge of classical iconography, which he molded to fit the requirements of his own experience; thus, the depiction of a biblical scene was informed by Rembrandt’s knowledge of the specific text, his assimilation of classical composition, and his observations of Amsterdam’s Jewish population.  Because of his empathy for the human condition, he has been called “one of the great prophets of civilization”.  The French sculptor Auguste Rodin said, Compare me with Rembrandt! With Rembrandt, the colossus of Art! We should prostrate ourselves before Rembrandt and never compare anyone with him! “ Francisco Goya, often considered to be among the last of the Old Masters, said “I have had three masters: Nature, Velázquez, and Rembrandt. “ Vincent van Gogh wrote, “Rembrandt goes so deep into the mysterious that he says things for which there are no words in any language. It is with justice that they call Rembrandtmagicianthat’s no easy occupation. “ The impressionist Max Liebermann said: “Whenever I see a Frans Hals, I feel like painting; whenever I see a Rembrandt, I feel like giving up. Contents [hide] 1 Life 2 Works 2.1 Periods, themes and styles 2.2 Etchings 2.3 The Night Watch 3 Expert assessments 4 Painting materials 5 Name and signature 6 Workshop 7 Museum collections 8 Selected works 9 Exhibitions 10 Gallery 10.1 Self-portraits 10.2 Other works 10.2.1 Drawings and etchings 11 Notes 12 References 13 Further reading 14 External links Life The Prodigal Son in the Tavern, a self-portrait with Saskia, c. 1635 Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was born on 15 July 1606 in Leiden,  in the Dutch Republic, now the Netherlands. He was the ninth child born to Harmen Gerritszoon van Rijn and Neeltgen Willemsdochter van Zuijtbrouck.  His family was quite well-to-do; his father was a miller and his mother was a baker’s daughter. Religion is a central theme in Rembrandt’s paintings and the religiously fraught period in which he lived makes his faith a matter of interest. His mother was Roman Catholic, and his father belonged to the Dutch Reformed Church. While his work reveals deep Christian faith, there is no evidence that Rembrandt formally belonged to any church, although he had five of his children christened in Dutch Reformed churches in Amsterdam: four in the Oude Kerk (Old Church) and one, Titus, in the Zuiderkerk (Southern Church).  As a boy he attended Latin school. At the age of 14, he was enrolled at the University of Leiden, although according to a contemporary he had a greater inclination towards painting; he was soon apprenticed to a Leiden history painter, Jacob van Swanenburgh, with whom he spent three years.  After a brief but important apprenticeship of six months with the painter Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam, Rembrandt stayed a few months with Jacob Pynas and then started his own workshop, though Simon van Leeuwen claimed that Joris van Schooten taught Rembrandt in Leiden.  Unlike many of his contemporaries who traveled to Italy as part of their artistic training, Rembrandt never left the Dutch Republic during his lifetime.  He opened a studio in Leiden in 1624 or 1625, which he shared with friend and colleague Jan Lievens. In 1627, Rembrandt began to accept students, among them Gerrit Dou in 1628.  In 1629, Rembrandt was discovered by the statesman Constantijn Huygens (father of the Dutch mathematician and physicist Christiaan Huygens), who procured for Rembrandt important commissions from the court of The Hague.  Portrait of Saskia van Uylenburgh, ca. 1635 At the end of 1631 Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam, then rapidly expanding as the new business capital of the Netherlands, and began to practice as a professional portraitist for the first time, with great success. He initially stayed with an art dealer, Hendrick van Uylenburgh, and in 1634, married Hendrick’s cousin, Saskia van Uylenburgh.  Saskia came from a good family: her father had been a lawyer and the burgemeester (mayor) of Leeuwarden. When Saskia, as the youngest daughter, became an orphan, she lived with an older sister in Het Bildt. Rembrandt and Saskia were married in the local church of St. Annaparochie without the presence of Rembrandt’s relatives.  In the same year, Rembrandt became a burgess of Amsterdam and a member of the local guild of painters. He also acquired a number of students, among them Ferdinand Bol and Govert Flinck.  In 1635, Rembrandt and Saskia moved into their own house, renting in fashionable Nieuwe Doelenstraat. In 1639 they moved to a prominent newly built house (now the Rembrandt House Museum) in the upscale’Breestraat’ eng.’Broadway’, today known as Jodenbreestraat (Jodenbreestraat 4,1011 NK Amsterdam-now) in what was becoming the Jewish quarter; then a young upcoming neighborhood.  Rembrandt should easily have been able to pay the house off with his large income, but it appears his spending always kept pace with his income, and he may have made some unsuccessful investments.  It was there that Rembrandt frequently sought his Jewish neighbors to model for his Old Testament scenes.  Although they were by now affluent, the couple suffered several personal setbacks; their son Rumbartus died two months after his birth in 1635 and their daughter Cornelia died at just three weeks of age in 1638. In 1640, they had a second daughter, also named Cornelia, who died after living barely over a month. Only their fourth child, Titus, who was born in 1641, survived into adulthood. Saskia died in 1642 soon after Titus’s birth, probably from tuberculosis. Rembrandt’s drawings of her on her sick and death bed are among his most moving works.  Rembrandt’s son Titus, as a monk, 1660 During Saskia’s illness, Geertje Dircx was hired as Titus’ caretaker and nurse and also became Rembrandt’s lover. She would later charge Rembrandt with breach of promise (a euphemism for seduction under [breached] promise to marry) and was awarded alimony of 200 guilders a year.  Rembrandt worked to have her committed for twelve years to an asylum or poorhouse (called a “bridewell”) at Gouda, after learning she had pawned jewelry he had given her that once belonged to Saskia.  In the late 1640s Rembrandt began a relationship with the much younger Hendrickje Stoffels, who had initially been his maid. In 1654 they had a daughter, Cornelia, bringing Hendrickje a summons from the Reformed Church to answer the charge “that she had committed the acts of a whore with Rembrandt the painter”. She admitted this and was banned from receiving communion. Rembrandt was not summoned to appear for the Church council because he was not a member of the Reformed Church. The two were considered legally wed under common law, but Rembrandt had not married Hendrickje. Had he remarried he would have lost access to a trust set up for Titus in Saskia’s will. The sale list survives and gives us a good insight into Rembrandt’s collections, which, apart from Old Master paintings and drawings, included busts of the Roman Emperors, suits of Japanese armor among many objects from Asia, and collections of natural history and minerals. But the prices realized in the sales in 1657 and 1658 were disappointing.  Rembrandt was forced to sell his house and his printing-press and move to more modest accommodation on the Rozengracht in 1660.  The authorities and his creditors were generally accommodating to him, except for the Amsterdam painters’ guild, which introduced a new rule that no one in Rembrandt’s circumstances could trade as a painter. To get around this, Hendrickje and Titus set up a business as art dealers in 1660, with Rembrandt as an employee.  Rembrandt Memorial Marker Westerkerk Amsterdam In 1661 Rembrandt (or rather the new business) was contracted to complete work for the newly built city hall, but only after Govert Flinck, the artist previously commissioned, died without beginning to paint.  It was around this time that Rembrandt took on his last apprentice, Aert de Gelder. In 1662 he was still fulfilling major commissions for portraits and other works.  When Cosimo III de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany came to Amsterdam in 1667, he visited Rembrandt at his house.  Rembrandt outlived both Hendrickje, who died in 1663, and Titus, who died in 1668, leaving a baby daughter. He died within a year of his son, on 4 October 1669 in Amsterdam, and was buried as a poor man in an unknown grave in the Westerkerk. It was in a numbered’kerkgraf’ (grave owned by the church) somewhere under a tombstone in the church. After twenty years, his remains were taken away and destroyed, as was customary with the remains of poor people at the time. Works See also: List of paintings by Rembrandt, List of etchings by Rembrandt, and List of drawings by Rembrandt In a letter to Huygens, Rembrandt offered the only surviving explanation of what he sought to achieve through his art: the greatest and most natural movement, translated from de meeste en de natuurlijkste beweegelijkheid. The word “beweegelijkheid” is also argued to mean “emotion” or “motive”. Whether this refers to objectives, material or otherwise, is open to interpretation; either way, critics have drawn particular attention to the way Rembrandt seamlessly melded the earthly and spiritual.  The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, 1633. The painting is still missing after the robbery from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990. Earlier 20th century connoisseurs claimed Rembrandt had produced well over 600 paintings,  nearly 400 etchings and 2,000 drawings.  More recent scholarship, from the 1960s to the present day (led by the Rembrandt Research Project), often controversially, has winnowed his oeuvre to nearer 300 paintings.  His prints, traditionally all called etchings, although many are produced in whole or part by engraving and sometimes drypoint, have a much more stable total of slightly under 300.  It is likely Rembrandt made many more drawings in his lifetime than 2,000, but those extant are more rare than presumed.  Two experts claim that the number of drawings whose autograph status can be regarded as effectively “certain” is no higher than about 75, although this is disputed. The list was to be unveiled at a scholarly meeting in February 2010.  At one time about ninety paintings were counted as Rembrandt self-portraits, but it is now known that he had his students copy his own self-portraits as part of their training. Modern scholarship has reduced the autograph count to over forty paintings, as well as a few drawings and thirty-one etchings, which include many of the most remarkable images of the group.  Some show him posing in quasi-historical fancy dress, or pulling faces at himself. His oil paintings trace the progress from an uncertain young man, through the dapper and very successful portrait-painter of the 1630s, to the troubled but massively powerful portraits of his old age. Together they give a remarkably clear picture of the man, his appearance and his psychological make-up, as revealed by his richly weathered face.  A Polish Nobleman, 1637 In his portraits and self-portraits, he angles the sitter’s face in such a way that the ridge of the nose nearly always forms the line of demarcation between brightly illuminated and shadowy areas. A Rembrandt face is a face partially eclipsed; and the nose, bright and obvious, thrusting into the riddle of halftones, serves to focus the viewer’s attention upon, and to dramatize, the division between a flood of lightan overwhelming clarityand a brooding duskiness.  In a number of biblical works, including The Raising of the Cross, Joseph Telling His Dreams and The Stoning of Saint Stephen, Rembrandt painted himself as a character in the crowd. Durham suggests that this was because the Bible was for Rembrandt “a kind of diary, an account of moments in his own life”.  Among the more prominent characteristics of Rembrandt’s work are his use of chiaroscuro, the theatrical employment of light and shadow derived from Caravaggio, or, more likely, from the Dutch Caravaggisti, but adapted for very personal means. Also notable are his dramatic and lively presentation of subjects, devoid of the rigid formality that his contemporaries often displayed, and a deeply felt compassion for mankind, irrespective of wealth and age. His immediate familyhis wife Saskia, his son Titus and his common-law wife Hendrickjeoften figured prominently in his paintings, many of which had mythical, biblical or historical themes. Drawings by Rembrandt and his pupils have been extensively studied by many artists and scholars through the centuries. His original draughtsmanship has been described as an individualistic art style that was very similar to East Asian old masters, most notably Chinese masters: a “combination of formal clarity and calligraphic vitality in the movement of pen or brush that is closer to Chinese painting in technique and feeling than to anything in European art before the twentieth century”.  Periods, themes and styles Throughout his career Rembrandt took as his primary subjects the themes of portraiture, landscape and narrative painting. For the last, he was especially praised by his contemporaries, who extolled him as a masterly interpreter of biblical stories for his skill in representing emotions and attention to detail.  Stylistically, his paintings progressed from the early “smooth” manner, characterized by fine technique in the portrayal of illusionistic form, to the late “rough” treatment of richly variegated paint surfaces, which allowed for an illusionism of form suggested by the tactile quality of the paint itself.  The Abduction of Europa, 1632. The work has been described as… A shining example of the’golden age’ of Baroquepainting.  A parallel development may be seen in Rembrandt’s skill as a printmaker. In the etchings of his maturity, particularly from the late 1640s onward, the freedom and breadth of his drawings and paintings found expression in the print medium as well. The works encompass a wide range of subject matter and technique, sometimes leaving large areas of white paper to suggest space, at other times employing complex webs of line to produce rich dark tones.  It was during Rembrandt’s Leiden period (16251631) that Lastman’s influence was most prominent. It is also likely that at this time Lievens had a strong impact on his work as well.  Paintings were rather small, but rich in details (for example, in costumes and jewelry). Religious and allegorical themes were favored, as were tronies.  In 1626 Rembrandt produced his first etchings, the wide dissemination of which would largely account for his international fame.  A typical portrait from 1634, when Rembrandt was enjoying great commercial success During his early years in Amsterdam (16321636), Rembrandt began to paint dramatic biblical and mythological scenes in high contrast and of large format The Blinding of Samson, 1636, Belshazzar’s Feast, c. 1635 Danaë, 1636, seeking to emulate the baroque style of Rubens.  With the occasional help of assistants in Uylenburgh’s workshop, he painted numerous portrait commissions both small (Jacob de Gheyn III) and large Portrait of the Shipbuilder Jan Rijcksen and his Wife, 1633, Anatomy Lesson of Dr.  By the late 1630s Rembrandt had produced a few paintings and many etchings of landscapes. Often these landscapes highlighted natural drama, featuring uprooted trees and ominous skies Cottages before a Stormy Sky, c. 1641; The Three Trees, 1643. From 1640 his work became less exuberant and more sober in tone, possibly reflecting personal tragedy. Biblical scenes were now derived more often from the New Testament than the Old Testament, as had been the case before. In 1642 he painted The Night Watch, the most substantial of the important group portrait commissions which he received in this period, and through which he sought to find solutions to compositional and narrative problems that had been attempted in previous works.  Self Portrait, 1658, Frick Collection, a masterpiece of the final style, “the calmest and grandest of all his portraits” In the decade following the Night Watch, Rembrandt’s paintings varied greatly in size, subject, and style. The previous tendency to create dramatic effects primarily by strong contrasts of light and shadow gave way to the use of frontal lighting and larger and more saturated areas of color. Simultaneously, figures came to be placed parallel to the picture plane. These changes can be seen as a move toward a classical mode of composition and, considering the more expressive use of brushwork as well, may indicate a familiarity with Venetian art (Susanna and the Elders, 163747).  At the same time, there was a marked decrease in painted works in favor of etchings and drawings of landscapes.  In these graphic works natural drama eventually made way for quiet Dutch rural scenes. In the 1650s, Rembrandt’s style changed again. Colors became richer and brush strokes more pronounced. With these changes, Rembrandt distanced himself from earlier work and current fashion, which increasingly inclined toward fine, detailed works. His use of light becomes more jagged and harsh, and shine becomes almost nonexistent. His singular approach to paint application may have been suggested in part by familiarity with the work of Titian, and could be seen in the context of the then current discussion of’finish’ and surface quality of paintings. Contemporary accounts sometimes remark disapprovingly of the coarseness of Rembrandt’s brushwork, and the artist himself was said to have dissuaded visitors from looking too closely at his paintings.  The tactile manipulation of paint may hearken to medieval procedures, when mimetic effects of rendering informed a painting’s surface.  In later years biblical themes were still depicted often, but emphasis shifted from dramatic group scenes to intimate portrait-like figures (James the Apostle, 1661). In his last years, Rembrandt painted his most deeply reflective self-portraits (from 1652 to 1669 he painted fifteen), and several moving images of both men and women The Jewish Bride, c. 1666in love, in life, and before God.  Etchings The Windmill, etching Rembrandt produced etchings for most of his career, from 1626 to 1660, when he was forced to sell his printing-press and practically abandoned etching. Only the troubled year of 1649 produced no dated work.  He took easily to etching and, though he also learned to use a burin and partly engraved many plates, the freedom of etching technique was fundamental to his work. He was very closely involved in the whole process of printmaking, and must have printed at least early examples of his etchings himself. At first he used a style based on drawing, but soon moved to one based on painting, using a mass of lines and numerous bitings with the acid to achieve different strengths of line. Towards the end of the 1630s, he reacted against this manner and moved to a simpler style, with fewer bitings.  He worked on the so-called Hundred Guilder Print in stages throughout the 1640s, and it was the “critical work in the middle of his career”, from which his final etching style began to emerge.  Although the print only survives in two states, the first very rare, evidence of much reworking can be seen underneath the final print and many drawings survive for elements of it.  The three trees, 1643, etching In the mature works of the 1650s, Rembrandt was more ready to improvise on the plate and large prints typically survive in several states, up to eleven, often radically changed. He now uses hatching to create his dark areas, which often take up much of the plate. He also experimented with the effects of printing on different kinds of paper, including Japanese paper, which he used frequently, and on vellum. He began to use “surface tone, ” leaving a thin film of ink on parts of the plate instead of wiping it completely clean to print each impression. He made more use of drypoint, exploiting, especially in landscapes, the rich fuzzy burr that this technique gives to the first few impressions.  His prints have similar subjects to his paintings, although the twenty-seven self-portraits are relatively more common, and portraits of other people less so. There are forty-six landscapes, mostly small, which largely set the course for the graphic treatment of landscape until the end of the 19th century. One third of his etchings are of religious subjects, many treated with a homely simplicity, whilst others are his most monumental prints. A few erotic, or just obscene, compositions have no equivalent in his paintings.  He owned, until forced to sell it, a magnificent collection of prints by other artists, and many borrowings and influences in his work can be traced to artists as diverse as Mantegna, Raphael, Hercules Seghers, and Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione. The Night Watch Main article: The Night Watch The Night Watch or The Militia Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq, 1642. Oil on canvas; on display at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam Rembrandt painted the large painting The Militia Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq between 1640 and 1642. This picture was called De Nachtwacht by the Dutch and The Night Watch by Sir Joshua Reynolds because by the 18th century the picture was so dimmed and defaced that it was almost indistinguishable, and it looked quite like a night scene. After it was cleaned, it was discovered to represent broad daya party of musketeers stepping from a gloomy courtyard into the blinding sunlight. The piece was commissioned for the new hall of the Kloveniersdoelen, the musketeer branch of the civic militia. Rembrandt departed from convention, which ordered that such genre pieces should be stately and formal, rather a line-up than an action scene. Instead he showed the militia readying themselves to embark on a mission (what kind of mission, an ordinary patrol or some special event, is a matter of debate). Contrary to what is often said, the work was hailed as a success from the beginning. Parts of the canvas were cut off (approximately 20% from the left hand side was removed) to make the painting fit its new position when it was moved to Amsterdam town hall in 1715; the Rijksmuseum has a smaller copy of what is thought to be the full original composition; the four figures in the front are at the centre of the canvas. The painting is now in the Rijksmuseum. Expert assessments See also: Rembrandt catalog raisonné, 1968 The Polish Rider Possibly a Lisowczyk on horseback. In 1968 the Rembrandt Research Project began under the sponsorship of the Netherlands Organization for the Advancement of Scientific Research; it was initially expected to last a highly optimistic ten years. Art historians teamed up with experts from other fields to reassess the authenticity of works attributed to Rembrandt, using all methods available, including state-of-the-art technical diagnostics, and to compile a complete new catalogue raisonné of his paintings. As a result of their findings, many paintings that were previously attributed to Rembrandt have been removed from their list, although others have been added back.  Many of those removed are now thought to be the work of his students. One example of activity is The Polish Rider, in New York’s Frick Collection. Rembrandt’s authorship had been questioned by at least one scholar, Alfred von Wurzbach, at the beginning of the twentieth century, but for many decades later most scholars, including the foremost authority writing in English, Julius S. Held, agreed that it was indeed by the master. In the 1980s, however, Dr. Josua Bruyn of the Foundation Rembrandt Research Project cautiously and tentatively attributed the painting to one of Rembrandt’s closest and most talented pupils, Willem Drost, about whom little is known. But Bruyn’s remained a minority opinion, the suggestion of Drost’s authorship is now generally rejected, and the Frick itself never changed its own attribution, the label still reading “Rembrandt” and not “attributed to” or “school of”. More recent opinion has shifted even more decisively in favor of the Frick, with Simon Schama(in his 1999 book Rembrandt’s Eyes) and the Rembrandt Project scholar Ernst van de Wetering (Melbourne Symposium, 1997) both arguing for attribution to the master. Those few scholars who still question Rembrandt’s authorship feel that the execution is uneven, and favour different attributions for different parts of the work.  The Man with the Golden Helmet, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, once one of the most famous “Rembrandt” portraits, is no longer attributed to the master.  A similar issue was raised by Simon Schama in his book Rembrandt’s Eyes concerning the verification of titles associated with the subject matter depicted in Rembrandt’s works. For example, the exact subject being portrayed in Aristotle with a Bust of Homer (recently retitled by curators at the Metropolitan Museum) has been directly challenged by Schama applying the scholarship of Paul Crenshaw.  Schama presents a substantial argument that it was the famous ancient Greek painter Apelles who is depicted in contemplation by Rembrandt and not Aristotle.  Another painting, Pilate Washing His Hands, is also of questionable attribution. Critical opinion of this picture has varied since 1905, when Wilhelm von Bode described it as “a somewhat abnormal work” by Rembrandt. Scholars have since dated the painting to the 1660s and assigned it to an anonymous pupil, possibly Aert de Gelder. The composition bears superficial resemblance to mature works by Rembrandt but lacks the master’s command of illumination and modeling.  The attribution and re-attribution work is ongoing. In 2005 four oil paintings previously attributed to Rembrandt’s students were reclassified as the work of Rembrandt himself: Study of an Old Man in Profile and Study of an Old Man with a Beard from a US private collection, Study of a Weeping Woman, owned by the Detroit Institute of Arts, and Portrait of an Elderly Woman in a White Bonnet, painted in 1640. The painting needs to be seen in terms of Rembrandts experimentation. This was highlighted much earlier by Nigel Konstam who studied Rembrandt throughout his career. Additionally, his style proved easy enough for his most talented students to emulate. Further complicating matters is the uneven quality of some of Rembrandt’s own work, and his frequent stylistic evolutions and experiments.  As well, there were later imitations of his work, and restorations which so seriously damaged the original works that they are no longer recognizable.  It is highly likely that there will never be universal agreement as to what does and what does not constitute a genuine Rembrandt. Painting materials Saskia as Flora, 1635 Technical investigation of Rembrandt’s paintings in the possession of the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister and in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Kassel) has been conducted by Hermann Kühn in 1977. The pigment analyses of some thirty paintings have shown that Rembrandt’s palette consisted of the following pigments: lead white, various ochres, Vandyke brown, bone black, charcoal black, lamp black, vermilion, madder lake, azurite, ultramarine, yellow lake and lead-tin-yellow. One painting (Saskia van Uylenburgh as Flora) reportedly contains gamboge. Rembrandt very rarely used pure blue or green colors, the most pronounced exception being Belshazzar’s Feast in the National Gallery in London. The book by Bomford describes more recent technical investigations and pigment analyses of Rembrandt’s paintings predominantly in the National Gallery in London. The entire array of pigments employed by Rembrandt can be found at ColourLex.  The best source for technical information on Rembrandt’s paintings on the web is the Rembrandt Database containing all works of Rembrandt with detailed investigative reports, infrared and radiography images and other scientific details.  Name and signature Slaughtered Ox, (1655), Musée du Louvre, Paris “Rembrandt” is a modification of the spelling of the artist’s first name that he introduced in 1633. Roughly speaking, his earliest signatures ca. 1625 consisted of an initial “R”, or the monogram “RH” for Rembrant Harmenszoon; i. “Rembrant, the son of Harmen”, and starting in 1629, “RHL” (the “L” stood, presumably, for Leiden). In 1632, he used this monogram early in the year, then added his family name to it, “RHL-van Rijn”, but replaced this form in that same year and began using his first name alone with its original spelling, “Rembrant”. In 1633 he added a “d”, and maintained this form consistently from then on, proving that this minor change had a meaning for him (whatever it might have been). This change is purely visual; it does not change the way his name is pronounced. Curiously enough, despite the large number of paintings and etchings signed with this modified first name, most of their documents that mentioned him during his lifetime retained the original “Rembrant” spelling. Note: the rough chronology of signature forms above applies to the paintings, and to a lesser degree to the etchings; from 1632, presumably, there is only one etching signed RHL-v. Rijn, ” the large-format “Raising of Lazarus, B 73.  His practice of signing his work with his first name, later followed by Vincent van Gogh, was probably inspired by Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo who, then as now, were referred to by their first names alone.  Workshop Rembrandt ran a large workshop and had many pupils. The list of Rembrandt pupils from his period in Leiden as well as his time in Amsterdam is quite long, mostly because his influence on painters around him was so great that it is difficult to tell whether someone worked for him in his studio or just copied his style for patrons eager to acquire a Rembrandt. A partial list should include Ferdinand Bol, Adriaen Brouwer, Gerrit Dou, Willem Drost, Heiman Dullaart, Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, Carel Fabritius, Govert Flinck, Hendrick Fromantiou, Aert de Gelder, Samuel Dirksz van Hoogstraten, Abraham Janssens, Godfrey Kneller, Philip de Koninck, Jacob Levecq, Nicolaes Maes, Jürgen Ovens, Christopher Paudiß, Willem de Poorter, Jan Victors, and Willem van der Vliet. Museum collections Rembrandt House Museum The most notable collections of Rembrandt’s work are at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, including The Night Watch and The Jewish Bride, the Mauritshuis in The Hague, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the National Gallery in London, Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden, The Louvre, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, and Schloss Wilhelmshöhe in Kassel. The Royal Castle in Warsaw displays two paintings by Rembrandt.  Notable collections of Rembrandt’s paintings in the United States are housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Frick Collection in New York City, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D. Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.  The Rembrandt House Museum in central Amsterdam in the house he bought at the height of his success, has furnishings that are mostly not original, but period pieces comparable to those Rembrandt might have had, and paintings reflecting Rembrandt’s use of the house for art dealing. His printmaking studio has been set up with a printing press, where replica prints are printed. The museum has a few Rembrandt paintings, many loaned, but an important collection of his prints, a good selection of which are on rotating display. All major print rooms have large collections of Rembrandt prints, although as some exist in only a single impression, no collection is complete. The degree to which these collections are displayed to the public, or can easily be viewed by them in the print room, varies greatly. Selected works The Girl in a Picture Frame, 1641, Royal Castle, Warsaw The evangelist Matthew and the angel, 1661 The Stoning of Saint Stephen (1625) Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon Andromeda Chained to the Rocks (1630) Mauritshuis, The Hague Jacob de Gheyn III (1632) Dulwich Picture Gallery, London Philosopher in Meditation (1632) The Louvre, Paris The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp (1632) Mauritshuis, The Hague Artemisia (1634) Oil on canvas, 142 × 152 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid Descent from the Cross (1634) Oil on canvas, 158 × 117 cm, looted from the Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel), Germany in 1806, currently Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg Belshazzar’s Feast (1635) National Gallery, London The Prodigal Son in the Tavern c. 1635 Oil on canvas, 161 × 131 cm Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden Danaë (16361643) Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg The Night Watch, formally The Militia Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq (1642) Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam Christ Healing the Sick etching c. 1643, also known as the Hundred Guilder Print, nicknamed for the huge sum paid for it Boaz and Ruth (1643) aka The Old Rabbi Old Man Woburn Abbey/Gemaldegalerie, Berlin The Mill (1645/48) National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. Old Man with a Gold Chain (“Old Man with a Black Hat and Gorget”) c. 1631 Art Institute of Chicago Susanna and the Elders (1647) Oil on panel, 76 × 91 cm, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin Aristotle Contemplating a Bust of Homer (1653) Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Bathsheba at Her Bath (1654) The Louvre, Paris Christ Presented to the People (Ecce Homo) (1655) Drypoint, Birmingham Museum of Art Selfportrait (1658) Frick Collection, New York The Three Crosses (1660) Etching, fourth state Ahasuerus and Haman at the Feast of Esther (1660) Pushkin Museum, Moscow The Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis (1661) Nationalmuseum, Stockholm (Claudius Civilis led a Dutch revolt against the Romans) (most of the cut up painting is lost, only the central part still exists) Portrait of Dirck van Os (1662) – Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska Syndics of the Drapers’ Guild (Dutch De Staalmeesters, 1662) Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam The Jewish Bride (1665) Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam “The Entombment Sketch” c. 1639 and reworked c. 1654 oil on oak panel Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow Saul and David ca. 16601665 Mauritshuis, The Hague Exhibitions Feb 12, 2015 May 17, 2015: Late Rembrandt, The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.  Oct 15, 2014 Jan 18, 2015: Rembrandt: The Late Works, The National Gallery, London.  Oct 19, 2014 Jan 4, 2015: Rembrandt, Rubens, Gainsborough and the Golden Age of Painting in Europe, Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art.  May 19, 2014 Jun 27, 2014: From Rembrandt to Rosenquist: Works on Paper from the NAC’s Permanent Collection, National Arts Club.  Sep 16, 2013 Nov 14, 2013: Rembrandt: The Consummate Etcher, Syracuse University Art Galleries.  Apr 21, 2011 Jul 18, 2011: Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus, Musée du Louvre.  Gallery Self-portraits Main article: Self-portraits by Rembrandt A young Rembrandt, c. 1628, when he was 22. Partly an exercise in chiaroscuro. 1629; Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg Self-portrait, 1630, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm Self-Portrait with Velvet Beret and Furred Mantle 1634 Self-portrait, 1640, at 34 years old. National Gallery, London Self-Portrait, oil on canvas, 1652. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna Self-portrait, Vienna c. 1655, oil on walnut, cut down in size. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna Self-Portrait, 1660 Self-Portrait with Two Circles, 1660. Kenwood House, London Self-Portrait as Zeuxis, c. One of 2 painted self-portraits in which Rembrandt is turned to the left.  Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne Self-portrait, 1669. Self-portrait, dated 1669, the year he died. National Gallery, London Other works The Stoning of Saint Stephen, 1625, The first painting by Rembrandt, painted at the age of 19.  It is currently kept in the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon. Bust of an old man with a fur hat, the artist’s father, 1630 Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem, c. 1630 The Philosopher in Meditation, 1632 Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, 1632 Abraham and Isaac, 1634 The Blinding of Samson, 1636, which Rembrandt gave to Huyghens Portrait of Saskia van Uylenburgh, c. 16331634 Susanna, 1636 Belshassar’s Feast, 1636-8 The Archangel leaving Tobias, 1637 The Landscape with Good Samaritan, 1638 Joseph’s dream, c. Ahasuerus and Haman at the Feast of Esther, 1660 Saint Bartholomew, 1661, J. Paul Getty Museum The Syndics of the Drapers’ Guild, 1662 The Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis (cut-down), 166162 Jacob Blessing the Sons of Joseph, 1656 The Return of the Prodigal Son, detail, c. 1669 Lucretia, 1666 (Minneapolis Institute of Art) Drawings and etchings Self-portrait in a cap, with eyes wide open, etchingand burin, 1630 Self-portrait, pen and brush and ink on paper, c. 16471649, Suzannah and the Elders, drawing, 1634 Self-portrait with Saskia, etching, 1636 Self-portrait leaning on a Sill, etching, 1639 The Three Crosses, etching by Rembrandt, 1653, State III of V Christ and the woman taken in adultery, drawing Virgin and Child with a Cat, 1654. Original copper etching plate above, example of the print below An elephant 1637 Christ presented to the People, drypoint, 1655, State I of VIII Notes The Book of Esther, also known in Hebrew as “the Scroll” (Megillah), is a book in the third section (Ketuvim, “Writings”) of the Jewish Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible) and in the Christian Old Testament. It is one of the five Scrolls (Megillot) in the Hebrew Bible. It relates the story of a Hebrew woman in Persia, born as Hadassah but known as Esther, who becomes queen of Persia and thwarts a genocide of her people. The story forms the core of the Jewish festival of Purim, during which it is read aloud twice: once in the evening and again the following morning. The books of Esther and Song of Songs are the only books in the Hebrew Bible that do not explicitly mention God.  Contents 1 Setting and structure 1.1 Setting 1.2 Structure 2 Summary 3 Authorship and date 4 Historicity 5 Historical reading 6 Interpretation 7 Additions to Esther 8 Modern retelling 9 References 9.1 Citations 9.2 Sources 10 External links 10.1 Text and translations 10.2 Physical relics Setting and structure Setting The biblical Book of Esther is set in the Persian capital of Susa (Shushan) in the third year of the reign of the Persian kingAhasuerus. The name Ahasuerus is equivalent to Xerxes (both deriving from the Persian Khshayrsha),  and Ahasuerus is usually identified in modern sources as Xerxes I,  who ruled between 486 and 465 BC,  as it is to this monarch that the events described in Esther are thought to fit the most closely.  Assuming that Ahasuerus is indeed Xerxes I, the events described in Esther began around the years 483482 BC, and concluded in March 473 BC. Classical sources such as Josephus, the Jewish commentary Esther Rabbah and the Christian theologian Bar-Hebraeus,  as well as the Greek Septuagint translation of Esther, instead identify Ahasuerus as either Artaxerxes I(reigned 465 to 424 BC) or Artaxerxes II (reigned 404 to 358 BC).  On his accession however Artaxerxes II lost Egypt to pharaoh Amyrtaeus, after which it was no longer part of the Persian empire. In his Historia Scholastica Petrus Comestor identified Ahasuerus (Esther 1:1) as Artaxerxes III (358338 BC) who reconquered Egypt.  Structure The Book of Esther consists of an introduction (or exposition) in chapters 1 and 2; the main action (complication and resolution) in chapters 3 to 9:19; and a conclusion in 9:2010:3.  The plot is structured around banquets (mishteh), a word that occurs twenty times in Esther and only 24 times in the rest of the Hebrew bible. This is appropriate given that Esther describes the origin of a Jewish feast, the feast of Purim, but Purim itself is not the subject and no individual feast in the book is commemorated by Purim. The book’s theme, rather, is the reversal of destiny through a sudden and unexpected turn of events: the Jews seem destined to be destroyed, but instead are saved. In literary criticism such a reversal is termed “peripety”, and while on one level its use in Esther is simply a literary or aesthetic device, on another it is structural to the author’s theme, suggesting that the power of God is at work behind human events.  Summary The opening chapter of a hand-written scroll of the Book of Esther, with reader’s pointer King Ahasuerus, ruler of the Persian Empire, holds a lavish 180-day banquet, initially for his court and dignitaries and afterwards a seven day banquet for all inhabitants of the capital city, Shushan. On the seventh day of the latter banquet, Ahasuerus orders the queen, Vashti, to display her beauty before the guests by coming before them wearing only her crown. She refuses, infuriating Ahasuerus, who on the advice of his counselors removes her from her position as an example to other women who might be emboldened to disobey their husbands. A decree follows that that every man should bear rule in his own house. Ahasuerus then makes arrangements to choose a new queen from a selection of beautiful young women from throughout the empire. Among these women is a Jewish orphan named Esther, who was raised by her cousin or uncle, Mordecai. She finds favour in the King’s eyes, and is crowned his new queen, but does not reveal her Jewish heritage. Shortly afterwards, Mordecai discovers a plot by two courtiers, Bigthan and Teresh, to assassinate Ahasuerus. The conspirators are apprehended and hanged, and Mordecai’s service to the King is recorded. Mordecai, who sits at the palace gates, falls into Haman’s disfavour, as he refuses to bow down to him. Haman discovers that Mordecai refused to bow on account of his Jewishness, and in revenge plots to kill not just Mordecai, but all the Jews in the empire. A royal decree is issued throughout the kingdom to slay all Jews on that date. When Mordecai discovers the plan, he goes into mourning and implores Esther to intercede with the King. (4:1-5) But she is afraid to present herself to the King unsummoned, an offense punishable by death. Instead, she directs Mordecai to have all Jews fast for three days for her, and vows to fast as well. On the third day she goes to Ahasuerus, who stretches out his sceptre to her to indicate that she is not to be punished. She invites him to a feast in the company of Haman. During the feast, she asks them to attend a further feast the next evening. Meanwhile, Haman is again offended by Mordecai and, at his wife’s suggestion, has a gallows built to hang him. That night, Ahasuerus cannot sleep, and orders the court records be read to him. He is reminded that Mordecai interceded in the previous plot against his life, and discovers that Mordecai never received any recognition. Just then, Haman appears to request the King’s permission to hang Mordecai, but before he can make this request, Ahasuerus asks Haman what should be done for the man that the King wishes to honor. Assuming that the King is referring to Haman himself, Haman suggests that the man be dressed in the King’s royal robes and led around on the King’s royal horse, while a herald calls: See how the King honours a man he wishes to reward! To his surprise and horror, the King instructs Haman to do so to Mordecai. Immediately after, Ahasuerus and Haman attend Esther’s second banquet. The King promises to grant her any request, and she reveals that she is Jewish and that Haman is planning to exterminate her people, including her. Overcome by rage, Ahasuerus leaves the room; meanwhile Haman stays behind and begs Esther for his life, falling upon her in desperation. Unable to annul a formal royal decree, the King instead adds to it, permitting the Jews to arm and defend themselves on the day chosen for their annihilation. On 13 Adar, Haman’s ten sons and 500 other men are killed in Shushan. Upon hearing of this Esther requests it be repeated the next day, whereupon 300 more men are killed. Over 75,000 people are slaughtered by the Jews, who are careful to take no plunder. Mordecai and Esther send letters throughout the provinces instituting an annual commemoration of the Jewish people’s redemption, in a holiday called Purim (lots). Ahasuerus remains very powerful and continues his reign, with Mordecai assuming a prominent position in his court. Authorship and date Scroll of Esther (Megillah) The Megillat Esther (Book of Esther) became the last of the 24 books of the Tanakh to be canonized by the Sages of the Great Assembly. According to the Talmud, it was a redaction by the Great Assembly of an original text by Mordecai.  It is usually dated to the 4th century BC.  Shemaryahu Talmon, however, suggests that the traditional setting of the book in the days of Xerxes I cannot be wide off the mark.  The Greek book of Esther, included in the Septuagint, is a retelling of the events of the Hebrew Book of Esther rather than a translation and records additional traditions which do not appear in original Hebrew version, in particular the identification of Ahasuerus with Artaxerxes and details of various letters. It is dated around the late 2nd to early 1st century BC.  The Coptic and Ethiopic versions of Esther are translations of the Greek rather than the Hebrew Esther. A Latin version of Esther was produced by Jerome for the Vulgate. It translates the Hebrew Esther but interpolates translations of the Greek Esther where the latter provides additional material. Several Aramaic targums of Esther were produced in the Middle Ages of which two survive the Targum Rishon (“First Targum”) and Targum Sheni (“Second Targum”) dated c.  These were not targums (“translations”) in the true sense but like the Greek Esther are retellings of events and include additional legends relating to Purim.  There is also a 16th-century recension of the Targum Rishon, sometimes counted as Targum Shelishi (“Third Targum”).  Historicity The book of Esther falls under the category of Ketuvim, one of three parts of the Jewish canon.  According to some sources, it is a historical novella, written to explain the origin of the Jewish holiday of Purim.  As noted by biblical scholar Michael D. Coogan, the book contains specific details regarding certain subject matter (for example, Persian rule) which are historically inaccurate. For example, Coogan discusses an apparent inaccuracy regarding the age of Esther’s cousin (or, according to others, uncle) Mordecai.  In Esther 2:56, either Mordecai or his great-grandfather Kish is identified as having been exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar II in 597 BC: “Mordecai son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, who had been carried into exile from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, among those taken captive with Jeconiah king of Judah”. If this refers to Mordecai, he would have had to live over a century to have witnessed the events described in the Book of Esther.  However, the verse may be read as referring not to Mordecai’s exile to Babylon, but to his great-grandfather Kish’s exile.  In her article “The Book of Esther and Ancient Storytelling”, biblical scholar Adele Berlin discusses the reasoning behind scholarly concern about the historicity of Esther. Much of this debate relates to the importance of distinguishing history and fiction within biblical texts, as Berlin argues, in order to gain a more accurate understanding of the history of the Israelite people.  Berlin quotes a series of scholars who suggest that the author of Esther did not mean for the book to be considered as a historical writing, but intentionally wrote it to be a historical novella.  The genre of novellas under which Esther falls was common during both the Persian and Hellenistic periods to which scholars have dated the book of Esther.  There are certain elements of the book of Esther that are historically accurate. The story told in the book of Esther takes place during the rule of Ahasuerus, who amongst others has been identified as the 5th-century Persian king Xerxes I (reigned 486465 BC).  However, according to Coogan, considerable historical inaccuracies remain throughout the text, supporting the view that the book of Esther is to be read as a historical novella which tells a story describing historical events but is not necessarily historical fact. Yamauchi has questioned the reliability of other historical sources, such as Herodotus, to which Esther has been compared. Yamauchi wrote, [Herodotus] was, however, the victim of unreliable informants and was not infallible.  The reason for questioning the historical accuracy of such ancient writers as Herodotus is that he is one of the primary sources of knowledge for this time period, and it has been frequently assumed that his account may be more accurate than Esther’s account. Historical reading This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) The Feast of Esther (Feest van Esther, 1625) by Jan Lievens, held at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Those arguing in favour of a historical reading of Esther most commonly identify Ahasuerus with Xerxes I (ruled 486465 BC),  although in the past it was often assumed that he was Artaxerxes II (ruled 405359 BC). The HebrewAhasuerus (aawr) is most likely derived from Persian Xayra, the origin of the Greek Xerxes. The Greek historian Herodotus wrote that Xerxes sought his harem after being defeated in the Greco-Persian Wars. He makes no reference to individual members of the harem except for a domineering Queen consort named Amestris, whose father, Otanes, was one of Xerxes’s generals. In contrast, the Greek historian Ctesias refers to a similar father-in-law/general figure named Onaphas. Amestris has often been identified with Vashti, but this identification is problematic, as Amestris remained a powerful figure well into the reign of her son, Artaxerxes I, whereas Vashti is portrayed as dismissed in the early part of Xerxes’s reign.  Alternative attempts have been made to identify her with Esther, although Esther is an orphan whose father was a Jew named Abihail. As for the identity of Mordecai, the similar names Marduka and Marduku have been found as the name of officials in the Persian court in over thirty texts from the period of Xerxes I and his father Darius I, and may refer to up to four individuals, one of which might after all be Mordecai. The “Old Greek” Septuagint version of Esther translates the name Ahasuerus as Artaxerxes,  a Greek name derived from the Persian Artaxara. Josephus too relates that this was the name by which he was known to the Greeks, and the Midrashic text, Esther Rabba also makes the identification. Bar-Hebraeus identified Ahasuerus explicitly as Artaxerxes II; however, the names are not necessarily equivalent: Hebrew has a form of the name Artaxerxes distinct from Ahasuerus, and a direct Greek rendering of Ahasuerus is used by both Josephus and the Septuagint for occurrences of the name outside the Book of Esther. Instead, the Hebrew name Ahasuerus accords with an inscription of the time that notes that Artaxerxes II was named also Aru, understood as a shortening of Aiyaru the Babylonian rendering of the Persian Xayra (Xerxes), through which the Hebrew aawr (Ahasuerus) is derived.  Ctesiasrelated that Artaxerxes II was also called Arsicas which is understood as a similar shortening with the Persian suffix -ke that is applied to shortened names. Deinonrelated that Artaxerxes II was also called Oarses which is also understood to be derived from Xayra.  Another view attempts to identify him instead with Artaxerxes I (ruled 465424 BC), whose Babylonian concubine, Kosmartydene, was the mother of his son Darius II(ruled 424405 BC). Jewish tradition relates that Esther was the mother of a King Darius and so some try to identify Ahasuerus with Artaxerxes I and Esther with Kosmartydene. Based on the view that the Ahasuerus of the Book of Tobit is identical with that of the Book of Esther, some have also identified him as Nebuchadnezzar’s ally Cyaxares(ruled 625585 BC). In certain manuscripts of Tobit, the former is called Achiachar, which, like the Greek Cyaxares, is thought to be derived from Persian Huwaxara. Depending on the interpretation of Esther 2:56, Mordecai or his great-grandfather Kish was carried away from Jerusalem with Jeconiah by Nebuchadnezzar, in 597 BC. The view that it was Mordecai would be consistent with the identification of Ahasuerus with Cyaxares. Identifications with other Persian monarchs have also been suggested. Jacob Hoschander has argued that evidence of the historicity of Haman and his father Hamedatha is seen in Omanus and Anadatus mentioned by Strabo as being honoured with Anahita in the city of Zela. Hoschander argues that these were not deities as Strabo supposed but garbled forms of “Haman” and “Hamedatha” who were being worshipped as martyrs. The names are indeed unattested in Persian texts as gods, however the Talmud (Sanhedrin 61b) and Rashi both record a practice of deifying Haman and Josephus speaks of him being worshipped.  Attempts have been made to connect both “Omanus” and “Haman” with the Zoroastrian term Vohu Mana; however this denotes the principle of “Good Thoughts” and is not the name of a deity. In his Historia Scholastica Petrus Comestor identified Ahasuerus (Esther 1:1) as Artaxerxes III who reconquered Egypt.  Interpretation Christine Hayes contrasts the Book of Esther with apocalyptic writings, the Book of Daniel in particular: both Esther and Daniel depict an existential threat to the Jewish people, but while Daniel commends the Jews to wait faithfully for God to resolve the crisis, in Esther the crisis is resolved entirely through human action and national solidarity. God, in fact, is not mentioned, Esther is portrayed as assimilated to Persian culture, and Jewish identity in the book is an ethnic category rather than a religious one.  This contrasts with traditional Jewish commentaries, such as the commentary of the Vilna Gaon, which states But in every verse it discusses the great miracle. However, this miracle was in a hidden form, occurring through apparently natural processes, not like the Exodus from Egypt, which openly revealed the might of God. “ This follows the approach of the Talmud,  which states that “(The Book of) Esther is referenced in the Torah in the verse’And I shall surely hide (in Hebrew,’haster astir,’ related to’Esther’) My Face from them on that day.  Additions to Esther An additional six chapters appear interspersed in Esther in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Bible. This was noted by Jerome in compiling the Latin Vulgate. Additionally, the Greek text contains many small changes in the meaning of the main text. Jerome recognized the former as additions not present in the Hebrew Text and placed them at the end of his Latin translation. This placement and numbering system is used in Catholic Bible translations based primarily on the Vulgate, such as the DouayRheims Bible and the Knox Bible. In contrast, the 1979 revision of the Vulgate, the Nova Vulgata, incorporates the additions to Esther directly into the narrative itself, as do most modern Catholic English translations based on the original Hebrew and Greek e. Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition, New American Bible, New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition. The numbering system for the additions differs with each translation. The Nova Vulgata accounts for the additional verses by numbering them as extensions of the verses immediately following or preceding them e. Esther 11:212 in the old Vulgate becomes Esther 1:1a1k in the Nova Vulgata, while the NAB and its successor, the NABRE, assign letters of the alphabet as chapter headings for the additions e. Esther 11:212:6 in the Vulgate becomes Esther A:117. The RSVCE and the NRSVCE place the additional material into the narrative, but retain the chapter and verse numbering of the old Vulgate. These additions include: an opening prologue that describes a dream had by Mordecai the contents of the decree against the Jews prayers for God’s intervention offered by Mordecai and by Esther an expansion of the scene in which Esther appears before the king, with a mention of God’s intervention a copy of the decree in favor of the Jews a passage in which Mordecai interprets his dream (from the prologue) in terms of the events that followed a colophon appended to the end, which reads: In the fourth year of the reign of Ptolemy and Cleopatra, Dositheus, who said he was a priest and Levite, and his son Ptolemy brought the present letter of Purim, saying that it was genuine and that Lysimachus, son of Ptolemy, of the community of Jerusalem, had translated it. By the time Esther was written, the foreign power visible on the horizon as a future threat to Judah was the Macedonians of Alexander the Great, who defeated the Persian empire about 150 years after the time of the story of Esther; the Septuagint version noticeably calls Haman a “Bougaion” where the Hebrew text describes him as an Agagite. The canonicity of these Greek additions has been a subject of scholarly disagreement practically since their first appearance in the Septuagint Martin Luther, being perhaps the most vocal Reformation-era critic of the work, considered even the original Hebrew version to be of very doubtful value.  Luther’s complaints against the book carried past the point of scholarly critique and may reflect Luther’s antisemitism, which is disputed, such as in the biography of Luther by Derek Wilson, which points out that Luther’s anger at the Jews was not at their race but at their theology. The Council of Trent, the summation of the Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation, reconfirmed the entire book, both Hebrew text and Greek additions, as canonical. The Book of Esther is used twice in commonly used sections of the Catholic Lectionary. In both cases, the text used is not only taken from a Greek addition, the readings also are the prayer of Mordecai, and nothing of Esther’s own words is ever used. The Eastern Orthodox Church uses the Septuagint version of Esther, as it does for all of the Old Testament. The additions are specifically listed in the Thirty-Nine Articles, Article VI, of the Church of England: “The rest of the Book of Esther”. Modern retelling There are several paintings depicting Esther, including one by Millais. The Italian Renaissance poet Lucrezia Tornabuoni chose Esther as one of biblical figures on which she wrote poetry.  In 1689, Jean Baptiste Racine wrote Esther, a tragedy, at the request of Louis XIV’s wife, Françoise d’Aubigné, marquise de Maintenon. In 1718, Handel wrote the oratorio Esther based on Racine’s play. In 1958, a book entitled Behold Your Queen! Was written by Gladys Malvern and illustrated by her sister, Corinne Malvern. It was chosen as a selection of the Junior Literary Guild. The play entitled Esther (1960), written by Welsh dramatist Saunders Lewis, is a retelling of the story in Welsh. A 1960 movie about the story, Esther and the King, starring Joan Collins. A 1978 miniseries entitled The Greatest Heroes of the Bible starred Victoria Principal as Esther, Robert Mandan as Xerxes, and Michael Ansara as Haman. Episode 25 of the 1981 anime series Superbook involves this story. The 1983 musical entitled Swan Esther was written by J. Edward Oliver and Nick Munns and released as a concept album with Stephanie Lawrence and Denis Quilley. Swan Esther has been performed by the Young Vic, a national tour produced by Bill Kenwright and some amateur groups. A 1986 Israeli film directed by Amos Gitai entitled Esther. In 1992, a 30-minute, fully animated video, twelfth in Hanna-Barbera’s The Greatest Adventure series, titled Queen Esther features the voices of Helen Slater as Queen Esther, Dean Jones as King Ahasuerus, Werner Klemperer as Haman, and Ron Rifkin as Mordecai.  A 1999 TV movie from the Bible Collection that follows the biblical account very closely, Esther, starred Louise Lombard in the title role and F.  In 2000, VeggieTales released Esther… The Girl Who Became Queen. Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther by Ginger Garrett. A 2006 movie about Esther and Ahasuerus, entitled One Night with the King, stars Tiffany Dupont and Luke Goss. It was based on the novel Hadassah: One Night with the King by Tommy Tenney and Mark Andrew Olsen. Esther is one of the five heroines of the Order of the Eastern Star. On March 8, 2011, the Maccabeats released a music video called “Purim Song”.  The Book of Esther is a 2013 movie starring Jen Lilley as Queen Esther and Joel Smallbone as King Xerxes.  In 2012, a graphic adaptation of the Book of Esther was illustrated by J. Waldman and appeared in volume one of The Graphic Canon, edited by Russ Kick and published by Seven Stories Press. The item “1940’s Israel REMBRANDT Etchings BIBLE Jewish BEZALEL ART BOOK Judaica HEBREW” is in sale since Sunday, September 27, 2020. This item is in the category “Collectibles\Religion & Spirituality\Judaism\Books”. The seller is “judaica-bookstore” and is located in TEL AVIV. This item can be shipped worldwide.
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