“Rescue of Jewish Memories”
April 15th, 2018 – The Association ADHIE and the Jewish Community CASEI as part of the Project «Rescue of Jewish Memories» is developing a series of projects to promote and make known the Jewish and Sephardic art of the 13th and 14th centuries.
The first stage of this program is focused on the field of Sephardic painting, for this, it is funding the creation of a series of fours based on the Golden Haggadah, then we will proceed to make a brief explanation about the Sephardic art and especially the Golden Haggadah of Barcelona…
Sephardic art is a unique cultural expression that developed in the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. At that time the Sephardic community living between Spain and Portugal flourished culturally for centuries and left a lasting imprint on the art and culture of the region. Among the many works of Sephardic art, one of the most outstanding but little known to the general public is the Golden Haggadah of Barcelona.
The Golden Haggadah of Barcelona is a 14th century illustrated manuscript that tells the story of Passover. Passover is one of the most important holidays in Judaism and commemorates the liberation of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The Barcelona Golden Haggadah is one of the most beautiful and elaborate haggadahs (plural of haggadah) ever produced, and is an outstanding example of Sephardic art.
The manuscript consists of 56 pages, and is written in Hebrew with some parts in Aramaic. The text is decorated with 23 full-color illustrations, depicting scenes from the Passover story, such as the Seder supper and the departure of the Jews from Egypt. The illustrations are remarkable for their detailed workmanship and beauty.
The Barcelona Golden Haggadah was created in Barcelona, Spain, in the 14th century, and is believed to have been produced by Sephardic artists. The work has been the subject of study and admiration for its historical importance and artistic value. The Golden Haggadah is one of the most outstanding examples of Sephardic art, and has been recognized as a masterpiece of medieval illumination.
This Haggadah has been the subject of controversy and has suffered an uncertain fate throughout history. During the Spanish Inquisition in the 15th century, many Sephardim were forced to leave Spain or convert to Christianity. Although it was forbidden to travel with goods, somehow the Golden Haggadah was taken to Italy in the 15th century, and then lost for several centuries. In the 19th century, it was rediscovered in the Vatican Archives, where it had been archived for centuries.
It was finally returned to Barcelona in 1963, thanks to the efforts of the city’s Jewish community. Since then, the work has been exhibited in several museums and has been the subject of academic studies. This work is highly valued for its beauty and historical importance, as well as for its role in Sephardic culture.
Costa Rican artists Lilly Abraham and Pamela Brandt, are working on the creation of a collection of 25 works based on the images that make up the Golden Haggadah of Barcelona, to carry out this project, they are using the same medieval techniques and materials similar to those used by the artists of that period, among the materials used are laminated gold and imitation precious stones.
When they finish producing these works, a series of international exhibitions will be organized in different countries such as Israel, Spain, Portugal, Romania and the United States.