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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The existence of Jewish art has long been denied by scholars. Indeed, Jewish art appears to be in conflict with the second of the Biblical ten commandments: “you shall not make for yourself a sculptured image… ” Literally interpreted, the verse prohibits visual arts among Jews and seems to reflect a Jewish aversion to images. This article examines art in Judaism and Jewish attitudes to art. It first considers evidence of art in Judaism, such as how Jews regard liturgical books and objects or how they decorate their sanctuaries. It then discusses Jewish art in modernity, focusing on Jewish artists such as Moritz Daniel Oppenheim, Jozef Israëls, Camille Pissarro, Max Liebermann, Mauricy Gottlieb, Marc Chagall, El Lissitzky, Issachar Ryback, Ossip Zadkine, and Jacques Lipchitz. It also looks at contemporary Jewish art as reflected in the architecture of museums, memorials, and synagogues.

Keywords: Jewish art, Jews, Judaism, Jewish artists, Moritz Daniel Oppenheim, Marc Chagall, architecture, museums, memorials, synagogues

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