Religious treasure Nearly fifty rich works of art and craft from medieval Jerusalem, the worldly focus of religion for Christians, Jews and Muslims over 1000-1400, have been borrowed from the city’s present religious communities to share the spotlight at the Met with 200 works in total that include tomb statuary, remarkable huge choir books from the Franciscans with the four line staff of the time (above), ornate boxes for relics, very fine large lamps, goblets, bracelets, wedding rings, maps, bottles, crosses, mats, pillar capitals, bibles and Qu’rans all mellowed in the glow of deep religiosity, in a unique survey where the sole vast gap is an imaginative one, the legendary Temple of the Mount destroyed by the Romans in AD70 which was never rebuilt but which lives on vividly in the memory of Jews today, and where the attached exhibition shop allows visitors to buy their own reminders of how religion inspires unmatchable art and artifacts, including carpets and colored glasses, and guides to all three religions which competed over Jerusalem then and since.
September 26, 2016–January 8, 2017
The Tisch Galleries, Gallery 899
Monday, September 19, 10:00 am–noon
Beginning around the year 1000, Jerusalem attained unprecedented significance as a location, destination, and symbol to people of diverse faiths from Iceland to India. Multiple competitive and complementary religious traditions, fueled by an almost universal preoccupation with the city, gave rise to one of the most creative periods in its history.
Jerusalem has been chosen and sanctified by God, trodden by His feet, honored by angels and frequented by every people under heaven.” Jacques de Vitry (ca. 1160/70–1240), bishop of Acre in the Holy Land
A kind of Jerusalem fever gripped much of the world from about 1000 to 1400. Across three continents, thousands made their way to the Holy City—from Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions alike. Generals and their armies fought over it. Merchants profited from it. Patrons, artists, pilgrims, poets, and scholars drew inspiration from it. Focusing their attention on this singular spot, they praised its magic, endowed its sacred buildings, and created luxury goods for residents and visitors. As a result, the Holy City shaped the art of this period in significant ways.
Opening at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 26, the landmark exhibition Jerusalem 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven will demonstrate the key role that the Holy City, sacred to the three Abrahamic faiths, played in shaping the art of this period. In these centuries, Jerusalem was home to more cultures, religions, and languages than ever before. Through times of peace as well as war, Jerusalem remained a constant source of inspiration that resulted in art of great beauty and fascinating complexity.
Works of art, with their overlapping histories and points of contact, provide glimpses, as through windows, of the varied and colorful panorama of medieval Jerusalem. To these we add the voices, past and present, through quotations and videos, of those who have walked the city’s streets and reflected on its unique character. All illuminate this remarkable moment when Jerusalem stood at the center of the world. Beginning in about the year 1000, Jerusalem captivated the world’s attention as never before. Why did it hold that focus for the next four centuries? Dramatic circumstances, including natural disasters, political turmoil, intense religious fervor, and an uptick in world travel, brought new attention to the city. In the 1030s, the Fatimid caliph who ruled over Jerusalem forged an agreement with the Byzantine emperor to rebuild the Holy City after a series of earthquakes and the malfeasance of his www.metmuseum.org/Jerusalem #MetJerusalem predecessor. In 1099 European Christians achieved their improbable dream of conquering Jerusalem. In the wake of their bloody victory, they Jerusalem 1000-1400 created glorious buildings and works of art for nearly a century. In 1187, the military leader Saladin (1137/38–1193) retook the city and rededicated its Islamic sanctuaries. In the late 1200s through the 1300s, Mamluk sultans blessed with stable reigns promoted the city as a spiritual and scholarly center. Throughout these years, the city was home to more cultures, faiths, and languages than ever before. As the site of both conflict and coexistence, it inspired art of great beauty and fascinating complexity.
The exhibition is made possible by The David Berg Foundation; The al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait; the Sherman Fairchild Foundation; the William S. Lieberman Fund; The Polonsky Foundation; Diane Carol Brandt; The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the Ruddock Foundation for the Arts; and Mary and Michael Jaharis.
Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. # MetJerusalem AUDIO 200 Listen to the Audio Guide for free on your smartphone by visiting metmuseum.org/audioguide. Audio Guide supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Jerusalem 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven is the first exhibition to unravel the various cultural traditions and aesthetic strands that enriched and enlivened the medieval city. The exhibition will feature some 200 works of art from 60 lenders worldwide. More than four dozen key loans come from Jerusalem’s diverse religious communities, some of which have never before shared their treasures outside their walls.
The exhibition will examine six specific factors that made medieval Jerusalem an exceptional source of artistic inspiration:
The Pulse of Trade and Tourism:
“What delighted me most was the sight of the bazaars—long, vaulted streets extending as far as the eye can reach.” —Pietro Casola, visitor from Milan in 1494
Often understood as the crossroads of the known world, Jerusalem was a thriving urban center, teeming with locals and tourists, new arrivals and long-timers, merchants and artists, soldiers and scholars.
Often understood as the crossroads of the known world, Jerusalem enjoyed an exceptional position as an economic hub, fed by the influx of religious pilgrims, adventurers, and merchants of many faiths, coming from Italy, India, and lands in between. Many eyewitness accounts reported on the hubbub of the city’s streets. Near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, goldsmiths worked in curious proximity to the chicken vendors. Shopkeepers of different religious traditions and speaking different languages often worked side by side. Visitors marveled at Jerusalem’s impressive covered marketplaces and the variety of their wares. Within the renowned triple suq (market), one section was dedicated to spice merchants, another to vegetable vendors, and a third to traders in silk and cotton.
The exhibition will evoke the many wares of the marketplace, including ceramics produced locally and imported from as far away as China. Textiles on view will reconstruct the fashion sensibilities of Jerusalem’s residents, including, surprisingly perhaps, their predilection for printed cottons from the Indian subcontinent. The shared taste of the region’s wealthy inhabitants confounds efforts to distinguish the owners’ identities, let alone their ethnic or religious heritage. Jewels that are recognizably Islamic in technique correspond to contemporary descriptions of the trousseaux of Jewish brides. A remarkable gathering of Cross reliquaries speak to the links between Jerusalem and Europe.
The Diversity of Peoples: Dozens of denominations and communities contributed to the artistic and spiritual richness of the city. The historical record surrounding medieval Jerusalem—a “city of foreigners”— includes both harmonious and dissonant voices from many lands: Persians, Turks, Greeks, Syrians, Armenians, Georgians, Ethiopians, Indians, and Europeans from each of the Abrahamic faith traditions passed in the narrow streets of the city—not much larger than midtown Manhattan. Visitors will be astonished, for example, by the numerous distinct alphabets and different languages of prayer. Exemplifying this will be Christian Gospel books in Arabic, Greek, Armenian, and Syriac, a Samaritan Bible in a distinctive Hebrew script, and the biblical book of Kings in Ge’ez, the language of Ethiopia, given by that land’s king to his community in Jerusalem.
The Air of Holiness: The exhibition will attempt to evoke the city’s sacred iconic monuments, with their layered history and shared spaces. Though Jerusalem can appear eternal, it has undergone enormous change. Seemingly immutable elements of Jerusalem’s sacred topography were understood differently in this period. Medieval maps show us that Christians understood the Muslim Dome of the Rock and the Aqsa Mosque to be the Ancient Temple and the Palace of Solomon, respectively. Manuscripts and rare documents demonstrate that medieval Jewish pilgrims focused most of their attention on the city’s gates and the Mount of Olives, rather than the Western Wall.
Among the highlights of this section are five sculpted capitals from the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth belonging to the Franciscan Community of Jerusalem. These pristinely preserved works, unearthed at the beginning of the 20th century, powerfully demonstrate the skill and imagination of the sculptors and the dramatic relationship between faith and art during the brief but exceptionally fertile Crusader period. Met conservator Jack Soultanian has prepared them for exhibition; this is the first time the ensemble has left Nazareth.
The Drumbeat of Holy War: Intimately bound with the belief in Jerusalem’s sanctity and the sense of exclusive ownership it instilled is the ideology of Holy War. This period witnessed the intensification of both crusade in Christianity and jihad in Islam. The exhibition offers an important opportunity to present these concepts, so charged in our own day. Art was recruited to justify war, presenting it as beautiful and divinely sanctioned. A manuscript depicting weapons created for the great Islamic warrior Saladin presents them as exquisite goldsmith’s work while a sculpted effigy (newly-cleaned for the exhibition) depicts a French nobleman as a crusader in full battle armor for eternity.
The Generosity of Patrons: The exhibition will introduce visitors to some of the real men and women who altered the aesthetic landscape of the city. The name of Melisende, the Frankish-Armenian Queen of Jerusalem, is linked to a celebrated Psalter, which will be presented as a larger witness to her activity as a patron of churches and scriptoria. An unprecedented gathering of luxury metalwork will evoke the patronage of Al-Nasir Muhammad ibn Qala’un; this dazzling display appropriately conjures up the munificence of this most important Mamluk patron of Jerusalem.
The Promise of Eternity: Finally, this is the first exploration of art that springs from the belief, common to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, that Jerusalem stands at the gates of heaven. The exhibition will include masterpieces of Persian illumination that bear witness to the key role of the Holy City in the life of Muhammad and in the Muslim faith tradition. Alongside these will be Hebrew manuscripts in which the glittering implements of the Temple symbolize the longing for redemption. An imposing jeweled shrine represents the Heavenly Jerusalem as Christian imagined it.
The exhibition represents a collaborative partnership between Barbara Drake Boehm, the Paul and Jill Ruddock Senior Curator for The Met Cloisters, and Melanie Holcomb, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters. Exhibition design is by Michael Langley, Exhibition Design Manager; graphics are by Morton Lebigre and Ria Roberts, Graphic Designers; and lighting is by Clint Ross Coller and Richard Lichte, Lighting Design Managers, all of The Met Design Department.
Catalogue and Related Programs
A lavishly illustrated catalogue appropriate for specialists and general readers alike will accompany the exhibition. More than fifty scholars from the United States, Europe, and the Middle East have contributed to the catalogue. Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press, the book will be available in The Met Shop (hardcover, $75.).
The catalogue is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the Michel David-Weill Fund; Tauck Ritzau Innovative Philanthropy; the Ruddock Foundation for the Arts; Christopher C. Grisanti and Suzanne P. Fawbush; and Helen E. Lindsay.
An audio tour, part of The Met’s Audio Guide program, is available for rental ($7, $6 for Members, $5 for children under 12).
The Audio Guide is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a variety of education programs at The Met Fifth Avenue. Exhibition tours will be offered throughout the run of the exhibition. A Family Afternoon on the theme of “Daily Life in Jerusalem” and a Met Escapes gallery tour for visitors with dementia and their care companions will also take place.
Education programs are made possible by the William S. Lieberman Fund.
Adam Gopnik, critic-at-large at The New Yorker, will be joined by scholars, historians, and other thought leaders in a stimulating discussion series called “Imagining Jerusalem: The Golden City in Art, Lore, and Literature.” Topics to be explored include the city’s many images, poetic uses, and spiritual reverberations. Additional information is available at metmuseum.org/gopnik.
The oratorio Al-Quds: Jerusalem by celebrated American composer Mohammed Fairouz was commissioned by MetLiveArts for the exhibition. Including poetry by Naomi Shihab, the world premiere will be performed on Friday, December 9, by the Grammy-nominated Metropolis Ensemble (Andrew Cyr, conductor). Tickets start at $65.
A previously planned event, “Feast of Jerusalem”—two nights of inspired conversation and Hafla (family-style feast) in the Museum’s Petrie Court Café on Friday and Saturday, November 18 and 19, with cookbook authors Laila el-Haddad and Maggie Schmitt (The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey) and chef and restaurateur Yotam Ottolenghi (co-author with Sami Tamimi of Jerusalem: A Cookbook)—is sold out.
And, at The Met Cloisters, the vocal ensemble Schola Antiqua of Chicago will perform the sacred repertoire of Jerusalem: Georgian and Armenian hymns; cantorial psalms; Sufi devotional music; and Jewish, Christian, and Muslim calls to prayer. The program, “The Suspended Harp: Sounds of Faith in Medieval Jerusalem,” will take place on Sunday, October 23, at 1 and 3 pm. Tickets start at $40.
“Imagining Jerusalem: The Golden City in Art, Lore, and Literature,” “Feast of Jerusalem,” and “The Suspended Harp: Sounds of Faith in Medieval Jerusalem” are made possible by the William S. Lieberman Fund.
Al-Quds: Jerusalem is made possible by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Sarah Billinghurst Solomon, and the William S. Lieberman Fund.
The exhibition will be featured at www.metmuseum.org, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter via the hashtag #MetJerusalem.
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Updated August 19, 2016
Image: The Archangel Israfil (detail), from The Wonders of Creation and Oddities of Existence (‘Aja’ib al-Makhluqat) by al-Qazwini (1202–1283). Egypt or Syria, late 14th–early 15th century. Opaque watercolor and ink on paper. British Museum, London. © The Trustees of the British Museum
For Christians, a visit to Jerusalem was commemorated by a souvenir. These included religious wares—perhaps a painted icon, a relic secured inside an enameled glass vessel, or just locally produced items made sacred by contact with a holy site. Whether worldly goods or mementos of the fabled East, countless souvenirs made it home to friends and family. Many objects from the city’s markets, however, confound efforts to distinguish the owners’ identities, let alone their ethnic or religious heritage. These works bear witness both to astute merchants who catered to a broad client base and to the similar taste of wealthier customers, no matter their background. Trade and travel between Europe and the Holy Land provided common cause and afforded peoples from different worlds the opportunity to meet through the shared language of commerce. Coin Treasure Gold Early 11th century, Caesarea Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem These coins were among some 2,600 dinars and quarter dinars discovered in February 2015 in Caesarea, a port 70 miles northwest of Jerusalem. Made of 24-karat gold and weighing more than 16 pounds, the treasure speaks to the enormous wealth circulating in the eastern Mediterranean in the early eleventh century. The coins represent a considerable sum: a shop in Jerusalem would have cost around 70 gold dinars, while a large house could cost 150 dinars or more. AUDIO 203 Map of the Holy Land From Chronica majora Opaque watercolor and ink on parchment Written and illustrated by Matthew Paris (ca. 1200–1259) Ca. 1240–53, Saint Albans Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge The port of Acre, a principal arrival point for European Christian pilgrims, dominates this map of the Holy Land, created by an English monk, Matthew Paris. Other sites shown include the city of Tyre, famous for its glassware, in the lower left corner and Mount Ararat in Armenia, where Noah’s ark was believed to have landed, beneath the fold-up flap at the top left. The square, walled city of Jerusalem appears on the right page, with the Dome of the Rock, the Aqsa Mosque, and the Tomb of Jesus all highlighted. Matthew’s vividly detailed journey to Jerusalem was one of the imagination: an armchair traveler, he never ventured to the Holy Land. AUDIO 202 Map of Levantine Trade Routes Ink and opaque watercolor on paper Possibly 15th century, possibly Syria Private collection, London This regional map of caravan itineraries, drawn from a long tradition of Arabic mapmaking, reveals Jerusalem’s long-standing role along established commercial routes. Halfway between Damascus (the center triangle) and the port of Ascalon is Jerusalem. Labeled the “Holy City” (“Bayt al Maqdis”), it is represented by a small hut on the thin line under the title. North is at the bottom of the map. The large title in Arabic at top, apparently added later, reads “Map of Egypt and Israel.” Jerusalem 1000-1400 Judeo-Arabic Astrolabe Brass with silver Designed by Abraham Ca. 1300, Andalusia Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, London Latin Astrolabe Brass Ca. 1300, Catalonia The Society of Antiquaries of London Arabic Astrolabe Gilded brass Designed by Muhammad ibn Sa’id al Sabban 1073 (A.H. 466), Andalusia Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich Used to answer questions related to time, geography, and the position of the stars, the astrolabe was a scientific instrument valued across cultures in the medieval world. Here are examples, all created on the Iberian Peninsula, in three languages: Arabic, Judeo-Arabic (Arabic written in a Hebrew script), and Latin. Jerusalem, an unusual inclusion, appears on each, raising questions about the owners’ relationship to the city: was it a focus of business travel, pilgrimage, or religious devotion from afar? AUDIO 201 Pair of Bracelets Gold 11th century, Egypt or Syria The al-Sabah Collection, Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, Kuwait Pendant Gold 11th century, Egypt or Syria The al-Sabah Collection, Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, Kuwait The delicate filigree wire and granulation on this pendant and pair of bracelets was a much-prized specialty of eastern Mediterranean artists. The word baraka (blessing) appears repeatedly on the bracelets. The pendant, like a tiny mailbox for prayers, has Arabic inscriptions woven into the decoration on the front, calling for “prosperity,” “happiness,” and “forebearance” for the owner. Jewelry Hoard Gold, silver, rock crystal, glass, carnelian, and semiprecious stones 11th century, Caesarea Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem, exhibited at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem Hidden in a clay pot, this cache of jewelry from Caesarea, a city about seventy miles northeast of Jerusalem, contains a mix of treasured materials gathered from distant lands. Alongside a set of splendid gold filigree jewels are a pair of silver earrings; a selection of beads made of carnelian, rock crystal, and marbled glass; a small bell; and a silver amulet inscribed with a passage from the Qur’an. Necklace or Diadem Gold 11th–12th century, Ascalon Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem, exhibited at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem This gold jewelry hints at the wealth of the inhabitants of Ascalon, a port south of Jerusalem. The city was no backwater, but rather a thriving link to Cairo and the mercantile world beyond. Known as mushabbak (latticework) in contemporary documents, the technique used here is associated with Islamic art but also corresponds to descriptions of jewels in the trousseaux of Jewish brides. The expression of refined taste was limited only by means, not by religious tradition. Jerusalem 1000-1400 The Asseburg-Hedwig Beaker Glass Ca. 1175–1225, possibly Sicily Lent by Bernd and Eva Hockemeyer, Germany Benjamin of Tudela, a Jewish traveler from Spain, remarked upon “the Jews . . . who make fine Tyrian glassware, which is prized in all countries.” It is tempting to tie the glass that Benjamin described to this example of the celebrated group of cut-glass vessels known as the Hedwig Beakers. Many questions remain about where they were made, but one theory suggests that the glassmakers of Tyre may have supplied their celebrated glass as raw materials to a Sicilian workshop. There the vessels were fashioned and then sent on to European church treasuries and noble collections. Chalice and Paten Glass 14th or 15th century, Holy Land Lent in honor of Jasim Y. Homaizi Lightweight and small, this chalice and paten were likely intended for celebrating Mass during travel. Despite its inherent fragility, glass made in the Holy Land was often carried back to Europe by returning pilgrims and Crusaders. Bottle with Christian Scenes Glass, gold, and enamel paint Mid-13th century, Syria Furusiyya Art Foundation Using lively line and color, the artist of this spectacular bottle brings a local Christian community to life. Imposing buildings, clearly designated with crosses, alternate with charming details of agricultural activities, from harvesting dates and picking grapes to plowing fields. Pair of Beakers Glass, gold, and enamel paint Ca. 1260, Syria Walters Art Museum, Baltimore This pair of glass vessels, made in the Holy Land, marries an Islamic technique and motifs, including inscriptions in Arabic, with Christian themes. One depicts saints or monks within local architecture, while the other may portray Jesus entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Merchant’s Hoard Various metals 11th century, Caesarea Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem, exhibited at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem Likely the stock of a merchant, the lampstands, trays, buckets, ladles for baths, and ceramic and glass vessels from a large hoard discovered in Caesarea exhibit a range of styles, uses, and levels of quality, suggesting clients of various means and diverse tastes. One lampstand is signed “the work of ‘Abbas in Damascus.” Other objects could have been made in Caesarea or Tiberias, where a similar hoard on view in the opposite case opposite was found. It, too, has a lampstand by ‘Abbas. Both cities were part of the dynamic trading network of the Holy Land in the eleventh century. Contents from left to right: Cylindrical box, ladle with inscription blessing its owner; tray decorated with a bird of prey attacking a gazelle, bathhouse bucket, three lamp stands; lamp stand base with inscription: the work of Abbas from Damascus, miniature lamp stand; glass storage jar; serving tray with bowls, jar, and two jugs. Jerusalem 1000-1400 Metalsmith’s Hoard Various metals 11th century, Tiberias Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem, exhibited at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem Three large storage jars, discovered in Tiberias in 1998, contained an array of bronze vessels, lampstands, lamps, ewers, incense burners, and mortars and pestles, as well as scrap metal. These objects were likely the products of a thriving metalsmith’s workshop that specialized in hammering and casting bronze. From Tiberias, located on the Sea of Galilee, some seventy miles north of Jerusalem, wares were shipped throughout the Mediterranean. Indeed, vessels found on the western coast of Spain conform in type to these, suggesting a common workshop. Contents from left to right: Censer bowl with Arabic blessings; small and large pitchers; bells; bowl with Arabic blessings, small oil lamp; funnel for oil; tweezers for wick; oil lamp, mortar and pestle, covered box containing small bowls, handles, weights; decorated hinges, metal filings; decorative attachment in the shape of bird of prey attacking a doe; incense burner; lacework lamp surrounds. Virgin and Child Enthroned and the Crucifixion Tempera and gold on wood panels with gilded plaster Ca. 1275–85, Acre Art Institute of Chicago, Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection Pilgrims to the Holy Land could buy icons and other devotional objects at both holy sites and special shops in major cities. The purchaser of this icon, who is pictured to the left of the Virgin’s throne, likely bought the diptych in Acre, the last Crusader outpost in the Holy Land. Workshops there specialized in providing holy images, modeled on Byzantine paintings, to European Christians. Reliquary of the Cross Gilded copper and champlevé enamel 1178–98, Limoges Basilique Saint-Sernin, Toulouse The sides of this reliquary box detail the journey taken by the Cross relic it once contained from Jerusalem to the Church of Saint-Sernin in Toulouse. On the long side with the hinges, an abbot from the Church of the Virgin in the Valley of Jehoshaphat hands the relic to a scribe from Toulouse, who then boards a ship bound for France. The scribe presents the Cross to the Abbot of Toulouse on one short side; on the long side with the keyhole, the church doors are flung wide to receive the precious souvenir. AUDIO 204 Reliquary Cross Gilded silver, rock crystal, glass, and faience Ca. 1180, Limoges, probably Abbey of Grandmont The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Michel David-Weill Gift, The Cloisters Collection, and Mme Robert Gras Gift, in memory of Dr. Robert Gras, 2002 (2002.18) Inscriptions along the edges of this cross list the relics it contained, all of which can be traced to the Holy Land. The turquoise-colored faience set as a gem on one side is likely from Egypt; faience also appears on the large reliquary from the treasury of Grandmont, on view in the final gallery. Like the relics themselves, the materials used in these reliquaries attest to vibrant trade between France and the eastern Mediterranean. Reliquary Cross Gold, semiprecious stones, and antique intaglios Ca. 1000/ca. 1180, La Roche Foulques Musées d’Angers Jerusalem 1000-1400 The shape of this gold reliquary, made for the chapel of a noble French family, announces that the relics it contained are genuine: the double-arm form was specifically associated with the Holy Land. Reliquary of the Cross Silver, gilded silver, niello, and semiprecious stones Ca. 1214, Rhine or Meuse River valleys Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund The lengthy inscription on this northern European reliquary tells the extraordinary tale of a priest who stole the relic from a Christian community in the Holy Land. His crime provoked a raging storm on the trip home. To calm the Mediterranean, he asked to be thrown overboard and gave the relic to the Knights Templar. A Crusader military order organized to protect pilgrims, they had a station in the Italian port of Brindisi, where the ship and relic landed safely. Reliquary Cross Gold 12th century, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund Inscriptions on one side of this reliquary cross note the relics that would have been visible on the other side. Irregularly placed and variously sized, the texts undoubtedly correspond to the original setting of the relics within. The largest and most prized was from the Cross of Jerusalem. Reliquary with the Finding of the Cross Gilded copper, émail brun, champlevé enamel, gems, and rock crystal 1160, Meuse River valley Private collection, United Kingdom Working in faraway northern Europe, the goldsmith who created this reliquary chose brilliant enamel to proclaim the authenticity of the relic it once held: a fragment of the cross on which Jesus was crucified. Here, the third-century empress Helena first uses “enhanced interrogation” techniques to compel Jewish residents of Jerusalem to disclose the site of the Crucifixion. She then directs the dig, unearthing three crosses. At top, the Cross of Jesus effects a miracle cure. Platter with Lusignan Arms Copper alloy, with traces of silver, gold, and black-paste inlay Ca. 1324–30, Egypt or Syria Musée du Louvre, Département des Arts de l’Islam, Paris The taste for luxury metalwork crossed cultural divides. These vessels feature the coat of arms of the Lusignans, a powerful Crusader dynasty based in Cyprus. They are among numerous examples of special orders, souvenirs, and curiosities commissioned in Islamic lands by Europeans eager to acquire the kinds of objects owned and exchanged among the ruling elites in the region. The Arabic inscription calls for “power, victory, and long life” for the owner. Bowl with the Arms of Hugh IV of Lusignan Copper alloy with silver inlay and engraving 14th century, Egypt or Syria Courtesy of the L. A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art, Jerusalem The coat of arms with prominent crosses and lions might seem to imply a military bent on the part of Hugh IV of Lusignan, for whom this bowl was made. In fact, however, despite his son’s urging, Hugh refused to embark on a crusade to recapture Jerusalem, preferring to serve as a patron of art and literature on Cyprus, his island kingdom. Jerusalem 1000-1400 Textile with Foliated Scrolls Cotton, block-printed and resist-dyed 13th–14th century, probably western India The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, V. Everit Macy Gift, 1930 (30.112.25) Textile with Blue and White Pattern Cotton, block-printed and resist-dyed 13th–14th century, probably western India The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, V. Everit Macy Gift, 1930 (30.112.41) Since Jerusalem was governed from Cairo at this time, textiles that have survived in Egypt by virtue of its dry conditions provide a glimpse of the likely fashion sensibilities of residents of the Holy City. These include, perhaps surprisingly, cotton prints from India’s Gujarat region. Striped Textile Linen and silk, plain weave and tapestry weave 12th century, Egypt The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of George D. Pratt, 1931 (31.19.4) Silk, worn by both men and women, could be found in markets across the eastern Mediterranean. While pure silk was largely unobtainable for the average consumer, objects made partly of silk, such as the piece here that combines silk with everyday linen, offered a similar effect at a much more accessible price. Striped Textile Silk 13th century, Iberian Peninsula The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of George F. Baker, 1890 (90.5.21) “Here [in Jerusalem],” remarked one eleventh-century merchant, silk of “black and sky blue are mostly in demand. . . . Crimson, however does not sell [there], but might be sold in Ramle or in Ascalon.” Other documents paint a different picture: at least one Jerusalemite woman placed a special order for red silk from Spain. Piece of Carpet with Geometric Design Wool 14th century, Anatolia The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1927 (27.170.91) Merchants’ accounts, dowry lists, inventories, and endowment records show that textiles, whether used as garments, curtains, wall coverings, bedding, or rugs, counted among the most valuable goods in the medieval suq, or marketplace. The language used to describe carpets is particularly rich and varied, a testament to the sophistication of the carpet industry both north and east of the Holy Land and to the omnipresence of rugs in both homes and places of worship. The Book of Secrets of the Faithful of the Cross (Liber secretorum fidelium Crucis) Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment Written by Marino Sanudo Torsello the Elder (ca. 1270–1343) 1319–21, Venice Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vatican City Crusade and commerce were often closely linked. Wealthy Venetian merchant Marino Sanudo presented this book to the Pope to persuade church leaders and nobles of his scheme to retake the Holy Land from the Egyptian Mamluks who ruled much of the region beginning in the mid-thirteenth century. Sanudo’s plan, carefully detailed within its pages, hinged on an economic embargo. In the scene at the bottom, the dark- skinned Mamluks pilot a boat loaded with European commodities, specifically wood, iron, and pitch. All materials necessary for shipbuilding, these goods, Sanudo argued, were the most crucial to restrict. Jerusalem 1000-1400 Belt Silver, with traces of enamel and gilding Mid-14th century, possibly Genoa The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Cloisters Collection, 2015 (2015.705) The celebrated Italian poet Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375) tells of a silver belt stolen from a virtuous Genoese woman that was offered for sale in the market at Acre, a principal arrival point for European Christian pilgrims. The story bears witness to the lucrative and lively commerce between Italian merchant cities and the Holy Land. This belt, which combines typically European motifs like that of a woman spinning with images of men in Persian-inspired costumes, boasts of the same wide world that Boccaccio took for granted. Bowl with a Woman Spinning Tin-glazed earthenware 13th century, Brindisi Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem, exhibited at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem Produced in the workshops of Brindisi, a major port in southern Italy, this bowl undoubtedly made its way to the port of Acre in the ship of an Italian merchant. Such wares apparently served as secondary cargo and ballast in ships carrying more lucrative goods. They found a ready market among Western Europeans who had settled in the Holy Land. Stem Cup Clay, molded decoration, and glaze 14th century, Jerusalem(?) By kind permission of the Keir Collection on long-term loan by Ranros Universal S.A. to the Dallas Museum of Art There is little evidence of pottery production within Jerusalem itself, with one notable exception. In the fourteenth century, potters working in the shadow of the Aqsa Mosque seem to have specialized in distinctive green-glazed goblets inscribed with blessings offering prosperity and honor to the person who drank from them. Va s e Stonepaste, white slip, and glaze 9th–11th century, Egypt Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Given by Major W. J. Myers Bowl Stonepaste, paint, and transparent glaze Late 12th–13th century, Damascus The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Gift of Horace Havemeyer, 1941 (41 .1 6 5 . 2 ) Pottery was an integral feature of private households and businesses alike. Families could order entire sets of painted platters, bowls, and cups, with specifications as to color and design. Some of the finest pottery did not travel far along the lively trade routes crisscrossing the region: shards of splash and striped ware, associated with Fustat (Old Cairo), have been discovered in Jerusalem’s Old City, as have fragments of vessels associated with Syrian potters in Damascus. Plate Stoneware and celadon glaze 14th century, China The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Herzman, 1980 (1980.471.2) Among residents and merchants in the Holy Land, China was synonymous with fine ceramics. Made in the Longquan region, these products seem to have traveled to the Holy Land via Egypt. Shards bearing the characteristic green-gray celadon glaze have been found in Alexandria, Antioch, Acre, and Jerusalem. Jerusalem 1000-1400 Va s e Stonepaste, paint, and transparent glaze 14th century, probably Egypt or Syria Victoria and Albert Museum, London Chinese pottery had an impact on ceramics produced in the eastern Mediterranean region. Blue-and-white Ming ware served as a model for this striking vase, likely made in either Cairo to the south or Damascus to the north. Both cities produced ceramics of this type that have been found in Jerusalem. The Diversity of Peoples “Jerusalem’s streets were never empty of strangers.” —Al-Muqaddasi (ca. 946–991), Jerusalem native and geographer No visitor failed to notice the rich mix of people on the streets of Jerusalem. Its astounding variety occurred across multiple dimensions: religious, linguistic, ethnic, and cultural. Both longtime residents and recent immigrants claimed heritages of extraordinary diversity, while visitors, whether pilgrim or merchant, soldier or student, traveled to the Holy City from every part of the known world. Jerusalem is often described as a city of three faiths, a truism that underestimates its religious complexity. No religion was in fact monolithic, and the city’s artistic and intellectual culture benefited from the distinct perspectives and rivalries that often emerged from various sects. Among Jews, for example, Karaites and Rabbanites debated matters of religious law. Shi’a and Sunni Muslims prevailed at different moments. Nuances of doctrine and questions of allegiance split Christians into a dizzying number of distinct sects, and Jerusalem boasted churches for many of them. If anything could be said to connect the many religious communities that held Jerusalem dear, it was a shared reverence for the written word. All fundamentally understood themselves as “people of the book.” Books written in, brought to, or sent from the Holy City thus exhibit an astonishing range of languages and styles. This reverence for books and the cultivation of scholarship went hand in hand. The city’s many madrasas, yeshivas, and monasteries made the city something of a college town, with a steady stream of students and scholars always coming and going. Cross Copper 15th century, Ethiopia Private collection, United Kingdom The form of this cross seems to mimic the footprint of the thirteenth-century Church of Saint George (Bete Giyorgis) near the town of Lalibela in Ethiopia. One of the rock-cut churches built after the loss of Jerusalem in 1187 to Saladin, it was intended as a surrogate means for pilgrims to visit the Holy City without leaving their own land. AUDIO 205 Cross Copper 14th century, Ethiopia Private collection, United Kingdom Around the time this cross was made, the Ethiopian emperor Yagbe’u Seyon, who saw himself as the direct descendant of Solomon and Sheba, dispatched to Jerusalem letters and gifts, including one hundred candles to be lighted in the city’s churches. Ethiopian pilgrims regularly mentioned the Ethiopian Christians of Jerusalem. Sometimes referring to them as Nubians and Abyssinians, their writings indicate European ignorance of African geography. Jerusalem 1000-1400 Qur’an Ink, colors, and gold on paper January 19, 1346 (A.H. 25 Ramadan 746), Egypt or Syria The al-Sabah Collection, Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, Kuwait This luxurious Qur’an manuscript is open to the page where Sura 54 poetically proclaims: “The hour draws near; the moon is split.” The text hints at the coming Day of Judgment, when, according to Islamic belief, all will be brought to Jerusalem. This sura (chapter) was beloved by the Sufis of India, who, notwithstanding the great distance, journeyed to Jerusalem. A hostel for religious pilgrims from the Indian subcontinent was established by the thirteenth century; it still exists today. Letter Requesting Funds to Ransom Captives Ink on paper Written by Maimonides (1135–1204) 1170, Egypt The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary, New York The leader of the Jewish community in Fustat (Old Cairo) when the Crusaders conquered much of the Holy Land, Maimonides issued letters such as this one to raise the exorbitant funds necessary to ransom captive Jews. Penned in Judeo-Arabic (Arabic written in a Hebrew script) by his secretary and signed by Maimonides himself, the letter accompanied emissaries who were charged to publicly read the message and return with the collected funds. Page from the Chronicle of Obadiah the Proselyte Ink on paper Written by Obadiah the Proselyte Ca. 1121, Egypt The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary, New York Conversions in the Holy Land happened across all religious divides. Obadiah the Proselyte, who was born into Italian nobility and ordained a priest, converted to Judaism after the First Crusade. He chronicled his journeys in verse and prose and conferred with leading religious authorities, all in a fluid, elegant Hebrew script. Here he relates his travels in the Holy Land, including an encounter with a Karaite Jew on his way to Jerusalem. Commentary on Psalms (73–82) Ink on paper Written by Daniel ben Moses al-Qumisi (died 946) Late 9th–early 10th century, Jerusalem(?) The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary, New York The Karaite Jews looked to the Hebrew Bible, as opposed to later Rabbinic writings, as the sole basis for matters of religious law. Led by Daniel al-Qumisi, they began immigrating to Jerusalem from Persia in the early tenth century and there established academies distinct from those of mainstream Rabbanite Jews. It was Daniel al-Qumisi, the author of this Hebrew text, who first exhorted the Karaites to gather in Jerusalem to mourn the destroyed Temple, hoping to hasten the time of Redemption. He also gave the community the name by which it would be known in medieval Jewish communities throughout the world: Mourners of Sion. Responsa (Questions and Answers) Ink on paper Written by Joseph ben Abraham al-Basir (960/80–1037/39) Second quarter of the 11th century, Jerusalem(?) The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary, New York The Karaites made Jerusalem an important center for scholarly religious study, which thrived until the arrival of the Crusaders in the late eleventh century. Al-Basir was one of the greatest authorities of the Karaite academy and a key member of the city’s intellectual community, writing many influential texts in Arabic. One Jerusalem 1000-1400 of the few contemporary Karaites who wrote Responsa, he answered legal and theological questions addressed to him by followers near and far. Arabic Transliteration of the Hebrew Text of Jeremiah 20:3–5 Ink on paper With Arabic translation and commentary by Yefet ben ‘Eli 10th–11th century, Jerusalem(?) The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary, New York A multitude of distinct languages and scripts were employed in Jerusalem during this period, even among those who shared the common linguistic heritage of Hebrew. The transliteration of sacred Hebrew texts into Arabic characters was a uniquely Karaite phenomenon. Here it is layered with Arabic translation and discussion by the Karaite Jewish commentator Yefet ben ‘Eli, who left Basra for Jerusalem in the tenth century. Seal of Tsemach, Son of Asah the Prince Carnelian 1000–1050, Fustat (Old Cairo) Private collection This seal features two concentric lines of Hebrew text inscribed in reverse, so that, when pressed into wax, the resulting relief reads correctly. The inner circle proclaims its Karaite Jewish owner’s name, while the outer one exclaims “Jerusalem the Holy City, may it be built soon.” The Book of Kings Ink on parchment 1344, Aksum(?) Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vatican City An inscription in this manuscript indicates that the Ethiopian king ‘Amda Seyon I (reigned 1314–1344) sent it to his community in Jerusalem—to either the Chapel of Mary at Golgotha or altar in the Church of the Virgin in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, over which the Ethiopians presided. Qur’an Opaque watercolor, gold, and ink on paper Copied by Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Isa (Ibn al-Bulaybil al-Hijazi) 1390, Jerusalem British Library, London Produced in Jerusalem, this Qur’an manuscript is representative of the ornately illuminated examples made in Egypt, Syria, and the Holy Land under Mamluk rule in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. The relative richness of its decoration and its convenient size for study and prayer suggest that it was commissioned for personal use. The Book of Arousing Souls to Visit the Divinely Guarded Jerusalem (Kitab ba’ith an-nufus ila ziyarat al-Quds al-mahrus) Ink on paper Written by Ibrahim ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Ibrahim al-Fazari (Ibn al-Firkah, died 1328) 1477, possibly Damascus Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven The sacred status of Jerusalem in Islam received special attention in writings called the Merits of Jerusalem (Fada’il al-Quds), which encouraged Muslims to visit and pray in the Holy City. This book, a classic of the genre, reflects on the benefits of performing acts of devotion at the Aqsa Mosque and at the tomb of the prophet Abraham. It also mentions traveling to and praying in Bethlehem. Jerusalem 1000-1400 The Syrian Christians of the Holy Land From Journey to the Holy Land (Peregrinatio in terram sanctam) Woodcut on paper Written by Bernhard von Breydenbach (1440?–1497?), designed by Erhard Reuwich (ca. 1455–ca. 1490), and published by Peter Schöffer the Elder (1425–1503) 1486, Mainz The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1919 (19.49.3) European pilgrims’ guides advised travelers in search of wine in the Holy Land to seek out the fine vineyards of local Christians. Here, the artist has illustrated local Syrians as vineyard workers, taking a break from their labors. While the accompanying text concedes they are hard workers, it perpetuates a long-standing fear among European Christians—that these Arabic-speaking Christians cannot be trusted for they are likely to transmit the secrets of their co-religionists to their Muslim neighbors. The New Testament (Peshitta) Opaque watercolor and ink on parchment Copied and illuminated by Bôkhtiso 1212/13, Monastery of Mar Aziza, Anatolia Morgan Library and Museum, New York Bôkhtiso, the scribe and illuminator of this manuscript, has decorated it in classic Syriac fashion, with simple geometric shapes that frame—almost enshrine—the text. Reading from right to left, it addresses the genealogy of Jesus. It comes from a monastery founded in the fourth-to-fifth century by Saint Aziza after his return from a trip to Jerusalem. Pilgrimage to the Holy City was of central importance to Syriac Christians and is a common theme in their saints’ stories. The Four Gospels in Arabic Opaque watercolor, gold, and ink on paper December 25, 1336 (A.H. 20 Jumada I 737), Holy Land British Library, London A hurried glance at the decoration and script of this manuscript might suggest that it is a Qur’an, but the book in fact contains the four Christian gospels. Created for Arabic-speaking Christians in the Holy Land, it is a copy of what is known as the Arabic Vulgate, a translation drawn from Greek, Syriac, and Coptic versions of the Bible. AUDIO 206 Copto-Arabic Book of Prayers Ink on paper 17th century(?), Egypt, Monastery of the Syrians(?), Wadi al-Natrun The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1919 (19.196.3) The Copts, in the medieval period as today, are among the Christian communities that worship at the Holy Sepulchre. This book, bilingual by design, contains versions in Arabic and in the Bohairic dialect of Coptic Egyptian. It is likely a copy of an older collection of texts for morning and evening communal devotions that focus on the Cross and the mysteries of salvation. Plan of the Temple From Commentary on the Mishnah Ink on paper Written by Maimonides (1135–1204) After 1167/68, Fustat (Old Cairo) Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford When the distinguished physician and philosopher Maimonides made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, he seems to have visited the Temple Mount or its immediate surrounding area, remarking in a letter that he “was privileged to pray [there], when it was ruined.” Within a few years he developed a commentary on the Mishnah, an important collection of Jewish law. This copy is written in Maimonides’s own hand in Judeo- Jerusalem 1000-1400 Arabic (Arabic written in a Hebrew script). One chapter, replete with explanatory diagrams, delves into the layout and function of the Temple. These pages present a floorplan, which includes near the top the Holy of Holies, the most sacred precinct of the complex. Samaritan Bible Ink on parchment 1232, Yavneh (Yibna or Ibelin) Dorot Jewish Division, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations, New York Public Library When he famously traveled from his native Spain to the Holy Land, Benjamin of Tudela, who was Jewish, remarked on the peculiar Hebrew alphabet of the many Samaritan communities he encountered. The Samaritans traced their lineage to the ancient Israelites but did not consider themselves Jewish, and their alphabet is a direct descendant of the ancient Paleo-Hebrew once used by all Jews. Syriac Lectionary Tempera, ink, and gold on paper 1216–20, possibly Monastery of Mar Mattei, near Mosul British Library, London Men and women, young and old, people of various hair and skin colors gather at Jerusalem’s gates in anticipation of Jesus’s arrival on a donkey. The architecture itself, with its patterned dome, pitched roofs, and colorful crenellation, contributes to the celebratory atmosphere. For the artist who illustrated this grand liturgical book for his community of Syriac Christian monks, it was a point of pride that the population of Jerusalem was so diverse. AUDIO 208 Pen Box Ivory with copper mounts Late 11th–early 12th century, Amalfi The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.236) This pen box is inscribed “Mansone,” the name of a noble family from Amalfi. Merchants from that city established an important community in medieval Jerusalem before the time of the Crusades. The chronicler William of Tyre (died 1186) relates that they carried wares from their native Italy to the Holy Land. They built a monastery near the Holy Sepulchre and established a hospital for pilgrims. Celestial Globe Copper alloy inlaid with silver and copper ‘Alam al-Din Qaysar (1178/79–1251) 1225/26 (A.H. 622), Syria or Egypt Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples Covered with forty-eight figures from constellations and 1,025 stars graduated in size to convey relative magnitude, this splendid globe belonged to Sultan al-Malik al-Kamil (reigned 1218–1238), nephew of Saladin, who won control of Jerusalem in 1187. In al-Kamil’s hands, scientific instruments served as diplomatic tools. The exchange of beautiful and sophisticated works like this one provided a framework for friendship with the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II (1194–1250). Though adversaries, they were able to forge a decade- long treaty that ensured shared access to Jerusalem. AUDIO 207 Chalice Brass with silver inlay 1250–1350, Egypt or Syria Victoria and Albert Museum, London The patron of this chalice chose to have it inscribed in Arabic, the language of many Eastern Christians in the Holy Land, in the medieval period and today. The inscription reads “Made at the order of the reverend Jerusalem 1000-1400 father at a certain ‘Monastery of the Tomb [Dayr al-Madfan],’” which some scholars suggest refers to the Holy Sepulchre. Pyxis Brass inlaid with silver and copper Early to mid-13th century, Holy Land Victoria and Albert Museum, London Ornamented with Christian themes and motifs typical of medieval Islamic art set side by side, this lidded box highlights the diverse and complex multicultural milieu in which it and many other similar brass vessels originated. Some may have been ordered by local Christian patrons, others as souvenirs for European knights. They became the proud possessions of rulers and elites both within and beyond the Middle East and as far away as Europe. Bowl with a Coptic Monk Swinging a Censer Stonepaste with luster overglaze 1050–1100, Egypt, probably Cairo Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Purchased with the assistance of The Art Fund and the Bryan Bequest With their roots in Egypt, Copts were among the earliest Christian communities in Jerusalem. The monk- priest depicted here wears the distinctive stole and belt of the Coptic clergy. He stands beside an elongated and stylized ankh—a cross with a loop at the top. In ancient Egypt this symbol signified life, and it was later used in the Coptic Church to represent Christ. Godefroy de Bouillon and His Men Embark on the First Crusade From History of Deeds Done Beyond the Sea Tempera, ink, and gold on parchment Written by William of Tyre (died 1186) Ca. 1295–1300, Paris(?) Walters Art Museum, Baltimore As a native of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, one of its leading ecclesiastical figures, and an advisor to the Crusader kings, Archbishop William of Tyre was well placed to write a history of the Crusader kingdom. It became a favorite text among the Christian elite in both the Holy Land and Europe. Many versions of the book include illustrated initials that start each chapter. Here armored knights set out from France to, in their view, liberate the holy sites of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazareth from Muslim rule. Gospel Book Wash and ink on paper Copied by Nerses the Abbot 1321, Jerusalem Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Nerses, the Armenian abbot of the Cathedral of Saint James, Jerusalem, copied this text himself. At the time, the city was under the rule of the Mamluk sultan al-Nasir Muhammad ibn Qala’un (1285–1341). The drawing is sure and elegant, but the overall decoration is more modest than that of Armenian manuscripts brought to Jerusalem as gifts in the fourteenth century. Those more luxurious manuscripts, the property of the Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem, may be seen in the section of the exhibition devoted to patronage. Revival of the Islamic Sciences (Ihya’ ‘ulum al-din) Ink on paper Written by Imam al-Ghazali (ca. 1058–1111) 1233/34 (A.H. 631), Jerusalem Museum of Islamic Art, Doha A profound spiritual crisis led the great scholar al-Ghazali to give up his teaching position in Baghdad, renounce his worldly affairs, and embark on a pilgrimage, which took him for a time to Jerusalem. Living in rooms above the Gates of Mercy, he studied and taught in the company of the many scholars working near Jerusalem 1000-1400 the Aqsa Mosque. He also wrote a portion of this text on Muslim spirituality, perhaps the most widely read work in the Islamic world after the Qur’an. Ode to the Mantle (Qasidat al-Burda) Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Written by al-Busiri (ca. 1212–ca. 1295) and copied by Muhammad al-Firuzabadi al-Shirazi Late 1361, Jerusalem(?) The National Library of Israel, Jerusalem This poem, one of the most frequently recited in the Islamic world, is a mystical ode in praise of the Prophet Muhammad. Its verses were worn as charms, written on the walls of mosques and houses, and chanted at funerals. Al-Busiri apparently composed the poem after he had recovered from a severe illness following a dream that the Prophet had placed his sacred mantle, or cloak, over him. This finely illuminated copy was reportedly produced in Jerusalem. Te x t i l e w i t h M u s i c i a n s Silk and gilded animal substrate around silk core; lampas 13th century, Iberian Peninsula The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1928 (28.194) This piece, once part of a larger luxury silk, was created in the textile workshops of the “Mahgreb,” or the Western Islamic world of North Africa and Spain—the source of many goods brought to Jerusalem. After Saladin’s conquest of the city in 1187, a special Mahgrebi quarter was established there, settled by a significant number of Muslims and Jews. Embroidered Textile with Four Saints Cotton, embroidered in gold thread and silk Possibly 13th century, possibly Egypt The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Mrs. Edward S. Harkness, 1929 (29.106a, b) The clothing worn by the figures on this densely embroidered textile gives some sense of the rich costume that could be seen on the streets of medieval Jerusalem. The figure on the far right wears a stole of crosses that wraps the shoulders and hangs down one side of his robe, identifying him as a Coptic priest or deacon. The other figures, carrying books marked with crosses, are likely churchmen as well, but, curiously, they wear the patterned leggings and elaborate belted coats typically worn in secular contexts. The Four Gospels Tempera and gold on parchment 1136, Monastery of Saint Sabas, near Jerusalem Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library Dramatically situated in the desert valley between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, the Monastery of Saint Sabas was an important spiritual and intellectual center. Housing Greek, Georgian, and Syriac monks, this community was responsible for translating works into many languages and producing sacred manuscripts. John, the Greek Orthodox monk who commissioned this book in Greek, held two offices at Saint Sabas: steward and host for guests. He likely had the book made for personal use, befitting his elevated post. Book of Saints’ Lives Ink on parchment Written by the monk George Prokhorus Ca. 1038–40, Monastery of the Holy Cross, Jerusalem Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford This Menologion, a collection of saints’ lives, was penned by George Prokhorus, a monk of Saint Sabas who founded the Georgian Monastery of the Holy Cross just outside Jerusalem in 1038. Texts within this manuscript, some of which were translated from Greek and Arabic into Georgian, attest to the monastery’s role as a scholarly center, part of a monastic network charged with the translation of texts. Jerusalem 1000-1400 Pen Box Brass with silver and gold Ca. 1345–46, probably Egypt Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Cabinet des Médailles, Paris Emblematic of the high regard in which scholarship was held, lavishly inlaid pen boxes such as this one served as status symbols for high-ranking officers as well as the wealthy and elite classes. Probably esteemed gifts for the highly literate and cultivated, they were used by not only viziers but also rulers or their scribes and personal advisers, who would write missives or chronicles. The decoration, dominated by Arabic inscriptions praising a Mamluk sultan, is a celebration of the beauty of lettering. Processional Cross Gilded silver and niello Ca. 1050, Holy Land Cleveland Museum of Art, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund Revered among Eastern Christians, Saint Sabas (439–532) led a great monastic movement: at the still- extant monastery he founded near Jerusalem, monks lived in solitude during the week but came together for services and provisions at week’s end. This cross is a celebration of the rich tradition of desert monasticism: Saint Sabas’s portrait is in the center of the reverse side, and the saints on the arms are other holy monks of the region. The Absent Temple “If you are worthy to go up to Jerusalem you should observe the following procedure: If you are riding on a donkey, step down; if you are on foot, take off your sandals, then rending your garment say: ‘This our sanctuary was destroyed.’” —Instructions from an early eleventh-century guidebook for Jewish pilgrims The Holy Temple was once Jerusalem’s most imposing structure. A vast complex that housed the Ark of the Covenant, it was built to be the sanctuary of God himself. Though destroyed in the first century, it remained the focus of Jewish devotional practice both locally and from afar. Scholars analyzed its every feature and artists imagined its lost majesty. Even with no Temple to visit, Jewish pilgrims flocked to medieval Jerusalem. They came to mourn the destruction of the Temple and pray that it would one day be rebuilt. Their prayers largely took place not within the city but around its walls. They made a circuit of the city’s gates concluding at the eastern Gates of Mercy, built over an ancient gateway to the Temple. There they might scratch their names and prayers into the stone. They then ascended the Mount of Olives, the historic site where it is believed that the Divine Spirit will return at the time of Redemption. This significant spot east of the city afforded the best vantage point from which to gaze upon the Temple platform. The Mount of Olives also figured in religious celebrations for the local Jewish community. There, they gathered in worshipful song, honored their benefactors, and prayed for the well-being of family and friends.
Aaron Lighting the Temple Menorah From the Regensburg Pentateuch Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment Copied by David ben Shabetai and Baruch Ca. 1300, Regensburg The Israel Museum, Jerusalem Ever-present for medieval Jews, the absent Temple is here commemorated in the pages of an illuminated Hebrew Bible. The high priest Aaron reaches across its pages to light the enormous seven-branched Temple Jerusalem 1000-1400 menorah. He wears the vestments of his office as prescribed in the biblical text, including the breastplate of precious stones, each inscribed with a name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel, and a robe edged with golden pomegranates and bells. The Temple implements were once completely gilded and, together with the tree symbolizing the Mount of Olives, served to illuminate the links among the Bible, the Temple, the Holy City, and the Jewish people. AUDIO 209 Menorah From a Bible Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment Last quarter of the 13th century, Rome or Bologna British Library, London Illuminating the end of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, is an elaborate image of the great menorah that once stood in the Temple of Jerusalem. Its structure conforms to both its description in the Bible and to detailed commentary (note the outward-curving petals and inward-angled flames) by Maimonides (1135–1204), with annotations drawn from both sources. In an unusual touch, gray animals with human heads blow shofars, ceremonial horns used to herald Jewish holidays and major events. Beneath the menorah’s base, two trees sprout from small mounds, recalling the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem for a community of Italian Jews worshipping halfway across the Mediterranean. Bible Ink on parchment Ca. 1300, northern Europe Courtesy of The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary, New York In the closing passages of the second book of Samuel, King David purchases the land of Ornan the Jebusite on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem to erect an altar to God, consecrating it as the future site of the Temple. The book of Kings follows, telling how Solomon, who succeeds David, builds the Temple on his father’s designated site. The Gates of Mercy From the Worms Mahzor Gold, ink, and tempera on parchment Ca. 1280, Rhine River valley The National Library of Israel, Jerusalem The Gates of Mercy figured not only in the rituals of Jewish pilgrims to Jerusalem but also metaphorically in the liturgy of Jews in the Diaspora who likely never saw the Holy Land. On the annual Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), penitent worshippers invoke God who “opens for us the Gates of Mercy.” Thirteenth- and fourteenth-century illuminated German mahzors, the service books used during holidays, often make much of this moment, framing the relevant text with an elaborate urban gateway. The Gates of Mercy From the Moskowitz Rhine Mahzor Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment 1340s, Rhine River valley The National Library of Israel, Jerusalem To evoke the earthly and heavenly Gates of Mercy, the artist adopted the vocabulary of the most imposing buildings he knew—the Gothic cathedrals of his homeland. A rose window and soaring spires ennoble the Hebrew blessing from the liturgy of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). Angels with candles and clasped hands gather in witness, along with birds perched on the heights. Jerusalem 1000-1400 The Gates of Mercy From the David bar Pesah Mahzor Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment Copied by David bar Pesah 1348, Rhine River valley Dorot Jewish Division, New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations The delicacy of the frame surrounding the Hebrew liturgy for the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) suggests that the artist took inspiration from medieval goldsmiths’ work, which, by its very preciousness, connotes heaven. Opening Prayer for Shabbat Parah From the Michael Mahzor Tempera and ink on parchment Copied by Judah bar Samuel (Zaltman) 1257–58, northern Europe Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford In this mahzor, a service book used during holidays, a herd of red heifers ambles across a green field dotted with suns, moons, and a rampant lion. This image marks the introductory prayers of a special Sabbath, Shabbat Parah, which recount how such beasts were sacrificed on the Mount of Olives and their ashes used in ritual purification. The text, recited annually, reminded Jews, wherever they were, to prepare themselves for pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Temple Implements From the Foa Bible Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment Ca. 1370–90, Catalonia, possibly Barcelona Compagnie des Prêtres de Saint-Sulpice, Service des Archives, Paris The Mount of Olives is set amid ritual implements of the Temple. Its inclusion imbues the vessels with a sense of time and space, for the caverns at its base are those through which it is believed the righteous will be resurrected and emerge at the End of Days when all the nations are gathered in Jerusalem. The vessels will be needed in this Messianic era, when the Temple is rebuilt and service to God on the Temple Mount is restored. Letter from Judah ha-Levi in Toledo to Halfon ben Nathanel al-Dimyati in Spain Ink on paper 1125, Toledo The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary, New York Judah ha-Levi rose to prominence in Toledo as an esteemed physician, community leader, scholar, and poet. The defining theme of his writing is his love for Sion. In this letter, written in his own hand in Judeo-Arabic (Arabic written in a Hebrew script), he tells his friend, “I have no other wish than to go East as soon as I can,” a dream he realized in 1140. Letter from Eli ben Ezekiel in Jerusalem to Ephraim ben Shemariah in Fustat Ink on paper Ca. 1030, Jerusalem Courtesy of The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary, New York This letter from one yeshiva member to another, written in Judeo-Arabic (Arabic written in a Hebrew script), tells of a few contentious Rabbanites declaring a ban of excommunication on the Karaites. The controversial decree was included among the yearly bans and blessings proclaimed on the Mount of Olives during the festival of Hoshana Rabba, when pilgrims poured into the city to encircle the site in song. Jerusalem 1000-1400 The Book of Divine Service From the Mishneh Torah Tempera, gold leaf, and ink on parchment Written by Maimonides (1135–1204), illumination attributed to the Master of the Barbo Missal, and copied by Nehemiah for Moshe Anauv be Yitzchak Ca. 1457, Venetian region or Lombardy Jointly owned by the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2013. Purchased for the Israel Museum through the generosity of an anonymous donor; René and Susanne Braginsky, Zurich; Renée and Lester Crown, Chicago; Schusterman Foundation, Israel; and Judy and Michael Steinhardt, New York. Purchased for The Metropolitan Museum of Art with Director’s Funds and Judy and Michael Steinhardt Gift (2013.495) Priests perform sacrifices in the Temple courtyard, introducing the eighth book of the Mishneh Torah, Maimonides’s monumental codification of Jewish law. The text explicates the construction of and worship in the Temple, including detailed descriptions of its rituals and vessels. This intense study was vital to a community that was not only studying the historic Temple but also forever readying itself for the future one. Law books were rarely illustrated so sumptuously, attesting to the high esteem in which Maimonides’s work was held. Plan of the Temple Complex From the Mishneh Torah Tempera and ink on parchment Written by Maimonides (1135–1204) and copied by Meir ha-Kohen (active 13th century) Late 13th century, northern Europe Courtesy of The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary, New York Illustrating the Laws of the Chosen House in Maimonides’s fourteen-book Mishneh Torah is a ground plan of the entire Temple complex, including both the Temple itself (in the upper half of the folio) and the courtyard containing the laver, altars, and various courts and chambers. Discrepancies between this plan and the one in Maimonides’s own hand in the previous gallery, such as the irregular shape of the Temple building, speak to the frequency with which this scheme was deliberated. Jewish Wedding Ring Gold with enamel First half of the 14th century, Rhine River valley Private collection, New York Jewish Wedding Ring Gold with enamel First half of the 14th century, Rhine River valley Musée de Cluny, Musée National du Moyen Âge, Paris Jewish Wedding Ring Gold First half of the 14th century, Rhine River valley Thüringisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie, Weimar Treasures from three long-lost Jewish communities of Europe, these exquisite and rare gold rings used in Jewish weddings take the form of a miniature building, symbolizing the lost Temple of Jerusalem. Two are inscribed with the words mazal tov (the traditional wish for good luck), and the third has a band in the form of the clasped hands of the betrothed couple. Since Jewish law stipulates that wedding rings be smooth and unadorned, these opulent rings were likely used solely for the ceremony, in which remembrance of the Temple played a vital role. AUDIO 210 Jerusalem 1000-1400 Roads to Jerusalem “Every day in Hebron, bread and lentils are distributed to the poor, whether they are Muslim or Jewish or Christian, and this is done in honor of Abraham.” —Obadiah of Bertinoro (ca. 1450–ca. 1516), rabbi from Italy With Jerusalem as the ultimate goal, pilgrims of all religions first paused at a number of other sites in the Holy Land. Some visits overlapped—like those to the Tomb of the Patriarchs at Hebron. Others were unique, such as the Christian attraction to places described in the Gospels, including Nazareth, where Jesus’s birth was first heralded, and Bethlehem, where he was born. Jewish pilgrims visited the tombs of esteemed ancestors—silent monuments to their history in the Holy Land. Muslim pilgrimages in the Holy Land might be undertaken in addition to or as part of the hajj to Mecca. Where sites became sacred, artistry followed. As in Jerusalem itself, sanctuaries were built, ornamented, embellished, and endowed by patrons and recorded in pilgrims’ writings. Horn (Oliphant) Elephant ivory 12th century, eastern Mediterranean or Sicily Musées d’Angers According to both Christian and Muslim accounts, the bodies of the biblical patriarchs at Hebron were discovered beneath their monuments in June 1119. Since then, they have ranked among the most celebrated relics of the Holy Land. Here, an elephant tusk has been used to hold relics of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. With them were relics of Abraham’s wife, Sarah, and remnants of the Last Supper. For Christians worshipping in the Cathedral of Angers, the ivory tusk and the lion hunt depicted on it signaled the relics’ links to the Holy Land. AUDIO 211 Pot for Cooking Lentils Brass 11th century, Caesarea Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem, exhibited at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem Large Brazier Brass 11th century, Caesarea Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem, exhibited at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem Pilgrims of all faiths spoke of the dish of lentils, raisins, olive oil, and bread prepared and distributed daily by the Muslim keepers of the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, a meal inspired by the charity of Abraham himself. Lacework Lamp Brass 11th century, Tiberias The Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem The actual tombs of the Patriarchs in Hebron are located not in the monuments displayed above ground but in caverns deep below. Jews and Muslims never entered the cave out of respect, and the site’s Muslim custodians instead kept the space continuously lit by lowering down torches or lamps like this one. They also periodically let down by rope a young boy to collect the coins tossed by worshipful pilgrims of all faiths. Jerusalem 1000-1400 Watercolors of the Mosaics in the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem Graphite and watercolor on paper William Harvey (1883–1962) 1909, Bethlehem The Society of Antiquaries of London Just six miles from Jerusalem, Bethlehem drew pilgrims eager to see the birthplace of Jesus. Jointly sponsoring the decoration of the church there, the Byzantine emperor and the Crusader king of Jerusalem formed an alliance in the twelfth century to create an interior of dazzling splendor. In addition to images of the life of Jesus and of processing angels, the mosaic decoration extraordinarily, focuses on esoteric proclamations of the historic Church councils convened to clarify doctrine. Although the church was created at a time when the Eastern and Western churches had split, the program celebrates their common history. In a contemporary display of cooperation among Christian denominations, the mosaics have recently been restored to their original brilliance. Pair of Candlesticks Silver with niello and some gilding First half of the 13th century, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem(?) Terra Sancta Museum, Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, Jerusalem Precious medieval liturgical objects from the Holy Land rarely survive. The preservation of these candlesticks may be due to the sharp warning inscribed around their bases: “cursed is he who would take me away from the site of the holy Nativity in Bethlehem.” Honorific Plaque from the Mausoleum of Abu Hurayra Marble 1274 (a.h. 673), Yavneh (Yibna or Ibelin) Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem, exhibited at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem Underlying the carving of this plaque is the concept common to Islam, Judaism, and Christianity that learning is an attribute of the holy. The Arabic inscription commemorates the renovation of the tomb believed to be of Abu Hurayra, a companion of Muhammad who was the source of thousands of guiding lessons, or hadiths, of the Prophet. Beginning in the thirteenth century, Jewish pilgrims linked the same site to an esteemed learned figure from their own history, Rabbi Gamliel, who was president of the Jewish high court. He lived at the time of Jesus and is also honored in Christian tradition. Venerated as a saint, he is called a “doctor of the law” in the Acts of the Apostles. View of Jerusalem From Journey to the Holy Land (La peregrination en Terre Sainte) Hand-colored engraving Written by Bernhard von Breydenbach (1440?–1497?), translated by Nicolas Le Huen (active 15th century), illustrated by Erhard Reuwich (ca. 1455–ca. 1490), and published by Topie, Lyon 1488, Lyon The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1928 (28.86.2) This bird’s-eye view of the Holy Land is the climax to an account of a Christian pilgrimage. The author—a German bishop and nobleman—invited an artist along to record details of the journey. Though it purports to be an accurate representation, the map offers a decidedly Christian perspective. The Holy Sepulchre, right of center, has been turned around to show an imposing courtyard entrance. When looking down on the city, the artist undoubtedly saw an esplanade with Muslim shrines, but he cleared it of most architectural structures save the Dome of the Rock. The Dome’s prominence at the center was due to a Christian claim, asserted here in an inscription, that it was the Temple of Solomon. Genealogy of the Patriarchs (Yihus ha-Avot) Tempera and ink on parchment 16th century, probably Jerusalem The National Library of Israel, Jerusalem Jerusalem 1000-1400 Meant to be hung on a wall, this scroll commemorates sites in the Holy Land long sacred to Jewish pilgrims. Here, the holy cities of Hebron, Tiberias, and Safed are included among other stops en route to Jerusalem, which appears about one-third down the scroll. The Temple platform is marked by two domes connected by lamp-filled arcades. The domes represent the Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, here surprisingly labeled as Solomon’s Study and the Temple. The Gates of Mercy and the Mount of Olives, significant stopping points on any Jewish pilgrimage, also appear. Other features include the city’s triple market and the synagogue established by the Spanish rabbi Nachmanides (1194–1270). Pilgrimage Certificate Ink, opaque watercolors, and gilded paint on paper September 6, 1433 (A.H. 21 Muharram 837), probably Najaf Museum of Islamic Art, Doha This scroll, created for one Sayyid Yusuf bin Sayyid Shihab al-Din Mawara al-Nahri, served as the official record of a pilgrimage to Mecca, Medina, Karbala (a site sacred to Shi’a Muslims), Hebron, and Jerusalem. The paired green domes of the Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock mark the holy city of Jerusalem. A black knife recalls the story of Abraham’s sacrifice, while a small red circle evokes the grave of Adam, said to be in Jerusalem. The Holy Sepulchre is featured as well, with an inscription mentioning “Jesus, peace be upon him.” Crusader Sculpture at the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth Unearthed in the early twentieth century, these magnificent capitals were apparently intended for the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth but were buried on the eve of Saladin’s advance on the Holy Land. Their lively carvings champion the heroic actions of Jesus’s apostles, including unusual stories that do not appear in the Gospels. The Saint Thomas Capital Limestone 1170s, Nazareth Terra Sancta Museum, Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth Christ miraculously appears in a locked house in Jerusalem, pulling aside his tunic and holding up his palm so that the incredulous Thomas can inspect his wounds and verify his identity. Flanking pairs of apostles add to the drama of the scene, their outstretched arms and swirling robes creating dynamic patterns. The Saint Matthew Capital Limestone Early 1170s, Nazareth Terra Sancta Museum, Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth On the left side sits King Eglypus of Ethiopia with his son, resurrected by Matthew. Two malicious sorcerers are engaged by Eglypus’s evil successor King Hyrtacus shown on the front. He seeks to procure the hand of Iphegenia, Eglypus’s daughter, whom Matthew had dedicated to God. On the right side, the devil seizes the soul of the villainous king after he has Matthew executed. The Virgin and Apostle Capital Limestone Early 1170s, Nazareth Terra Sancta Museum, Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth The crowned Virgin guides a haloed apostle through the depravities of hell, personified by the nightmarish demons advancing on all sides. AUDIO 212 The Saint Peter Capital Limestone Early 1170s, Nazareth Terra Sancta Museum, Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth Jerusalem 1000-1400 On the right, Jesus calls Peter to be his apostle on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, where Peter had been fishing. On the left, the action shifts to Jaffa, where Peter raises a charitable woman named Tabitha from the dead. Her bed is beautifully carved to mimic the arcaded canopy above. The Saint James the Greater Capital Limestone 1170s, Nazareth Terra Sancta Museum, Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth On the left, James successfully disputes with a sorcerer’s apprentice in Jerusalem. The sorcerer’s own demons bind their master and bring him before James, who converts him from his evil ways. Even as the high priest leads him to his death, James inspires the conversion of a follower. Lastly, James, the first apostle to be martyred, is beheaded. The Drumbeat of Holy War “God has conferred remarkable glory in arms.” —Robert the Monk (died 1122), French chronicler of the First Crusade Intimately bound with the belief in Jerusalem’s sanctity was the ideology of Holy War. From the eleventh to the fourteenth centuries, esteemed and learned men used the city as a lure, an excuse, a trophy, and an inspiration to wage battle in the name of God against those perceived as infidels. With the blessing of the Pope and the example of biblical forebears in their minds, Crusaders came from Europe to claim Jerusalem as rightfully theirs. Their first campaign ended in 1099 with the merciless slaughter of the city’s inhabitants—Muslims, Jews, and fellow Christians. By the mid-twelfth century, the military leader Nur al-Din (died 1174), employing the language of spiritual struggle (jihad), rallied the region’s Muslim communities against the Crusaders with a call “to uproot the unbelievers,” who had taken over Jerusalem. Art was often drafted into service of these ideals, subtly stoking sectarian violence through jeweled tones and glittering gold surfaces. Masterpieces celebrated the conflict over the Holy Land and made heroes of combatants, while minimizing their bloodstained work of destruction. As such, art became as complicit as oratory. It encouraged the hesitant and affirmed for the overeager the grim necessity and valor of war. Sword Steel, iron, and wood Ca. 1366–ca. 1436, Cyprus or Anatolia Furusiyya Art Foundation This straight blade is typical of Christian weaponry but also echoes that of early Islam, before curved single- edge blades became favored. The blade bears the sacred monogram of Jesus, which, whether a maker’s mark or simply talismanic, indicates that the sword was made in Christian lands. A later Arabic inscription notes that the sword was gifted to the armory of Alexandria. Sword Steel and wood Before 1419, Europe The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, Bequest of Bashford Dean, 1928 (29.150.143) The very emblem of the medieval knight, this sword is elegant in appearance, thin and flexible. A perfect blend of design and technology, it nonetheless failed to protect its original owner: the Arabic inscription indicates that it was donated to the armory in Alexandria, apparently after having been captured in battle. Jerusalem 1000-1400 Dagger and Scabbard with Saint George or Theodore and Arabic Inscription Blade, steel; hilt and scabbard: silver with niello 13th century, Holy Land Furusiyya Art Foundation Those who see the world in terms of a clash of civilizations between East and West will surely be baffled by this work of art. Its curved shape suggests an origin in the Islamic Middle East, and some might deduce the same from its Arabic inscription calling for glory and good fortune. How then to account for the haloed warrior on horseback? He might be Saint George, honored by Christians and Muslims alike, but his halo and the hand of God descending from a cloud above are in keeping with European Christian artistic tradition. Icon with Saint George and the Young Boy of Mytilene Tempera and gold leaf on gesso and woven textile (linen?) over wood support Mid-13th century, Holy Land British Museum, London Protector of the weak, Saint George is a legendary warrior. European and Eastern Christians as well as Muslims looked to his example and visited his shrine. Crusaders rebuilt a cathedral dedicated to him at Lydda (Lod), near Jerusalem. This icon places the saint in a partisan Christian role: he rescues a boy from the Greek city of Mytilene who had been taken captive and forced to serve as a cupbearer to a local emir. Military Saint on Horseback Black charcoal on plaster 12th century (1150–80?), Abbey of Saint Mary in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, Jerusalem Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem, exhibited at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem It may seem unexpected that an image like this, of a warrior on horseback, was found in the church of the Virgin that nestles near the foot of the Mount of Olives, just outside the walls of Jerusalem. However, soldiers who fought in support of Christian causes were often honored as holy figures. Lightly but confidently drawn, this military saint sits erect, gracefully balancing his long spear. Capital with a Triumphant Prince Entering a City Marble Before 1187, Holy Land Musée du Louvre, Département des Sculptures, Paris Sword raised, a man on horseback tramples his enemy underfoot. The sculptor identifies him as the hero of the story by his proud bearing. By contrast, he has made a caricature of the vanquished man. Acquired in Damascus in the 1920s, this capital must come from a church in the Holy Land, where it was intended as a metaphor for the Crusaders’ battle for Jerusalem. A Knight of the d’Aluye Family From his tomb in the Cistercian Abbey of La Clarté-Dieu Limestone After 1248–by 1267, Loire River valley The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Cloisters Collection, 1925 (25.120.201) Across three generations, men of the d’Aluye family of France embarked for the Holy Land, their mission to reclaim it for European Christians and redeem their own souls. The pride of this knight was such that he chose to be presented for eternity as a heavily armed—but prayerful—warrior. His sword does not match his armor; its form is typical of Chinese weaponry. Did he purchase it in a market of the Holy Land or forcibly wrest it from an adversary? The Arms of Sir Hugh Wake over a Royal Fatimid Inscription Marble Fatimid inscription: 1150; coats of arms: 1241, Ascalon Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem, exhibited at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem Jerusalem 1000-1400 To the victor go the spoils. This large slab of white marble was a prize won in battle. It had first been used to record the building of a tower in Ascalon during the reign of the Fatimid caliph al-Zafir (1149–1154). The city’s defenses were inadequate against the attacks of Crusaders, among them Englishman Sir Hugh Wake (died 1241). For Sir Hugh’s purposes, a mason turned the inscription on its side and cut through it, superimposing the Englishman’s coats of arms and two smaller, unidentified ones. The intended use is unknown, but the message concerning who is in charge is clear. The memories of both the tower and the knight were revived when this slab was excavated in Ascalon several decades ago. Knight on Horseback Copper alloy Mid-13th century, Lower Saxony, probably Hildesheim The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Irwin Untermyer, 1964 (64.101.1492) The medieval celebration of the valiant knight extended to the dinner table, where this vessel, known as an aquamanile, was used for washing hands. Water was added through the helmet and poured out through the horse’s forelock. Patterning on the horse suggests that it is meant to be a dapple-gray, first imported to Western Europe from the Islamic world. Bowl with Mounted Warrior Silver with gilding Late 12th–early 13th century, eastern Mediterranean Private collection, United Kingdom The sword served equally in battle and in the hunt. On this shallow bowl, a hunter rides forth, sword raised, as he prepares to subdue a beast at his feet. Such images, blurring the lines between war and sport, had wide appeal across the lands that the Crusaders once fought to control. Goblet of Charlemagne Goblet: glass with gold and enamel; mount: gilded silver Glass: second half of the 12th century, Syria; mount: 13th–14th century, Paris(?) Musée des Beaux-Arts, Chartres According to a richly embroidered legend, Charlemagne, crowned by the Pope and revered as a saint, brought this goblet back from the Holy Land. In fact, it was created some 400 years after his death in 814. A souvenir from a foreign culture, it was prized enough that its French owner had it set on a gilded silver foot. The Fall of Jerusalem From History of Deeds Done Beyond the Sea Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment Written by William of Tyre (died 1186) Ca. 1350, Paris Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris As Crusaders scale the walls of Jerusalem, Jesus appears as if in colorful windows above, moving through the city’s streets to his Crucifixion. Illustrating the siege of the Holy City in 1099, this fourteenth-century image was intended to inspire a new generation to embark on a crusade. Map of Crusader Jerusalem From a Picture Bible Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment Late 12th century, Saint-Bertin Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague Beneath this map of a Jerusalem dotted with churches, the Orthodox warrior saints George and Demetrius of Thessaloniki chase a group of Muslim knights. The Crusaders’ lore linked their own success in battle to the agency of these warrior saints, and the French monks who made this manuscript also understood them as protectors of the Holy Land. Even today, the message of this propaganda is clear: “white knights” fight noble battles against “dark knights.” Jerusalem 1000-1400 Slaughter of the Amalekites and Saul’s Last Stand From a Picture Bible Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment 1244–54, Paris Morgan Library and Museum, New York The left page of this Christian manuscript stages a battle between the Israelites and the Amalekites as an exquisite ballet. The work’s beauty softens the brutal reality of death and signals the righteousness of the fight. Though the story is from the Hebrew Scriptures, the heroes wear the garb of medieval knights. The French nobility was deeply engaged in efforts to recapture Jerusalem at this time, hence the ideological message that the Crusaders were the new “chosen people,” following the tradition of biblical warriors. The inscriptions in Latin, Persian, and Judeo-Persian were added by subsequent owners who treasured this manuscript. The right page appeared earlier in the bound manuscript and illustrates David’s narrow escape from King Saul’s pursuing guards. Saladin’s Treatise on Armor Opaque watercolor, gold, and ink on paper Before 1187, Syria Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford Impeccably drawn and rich with gilding, this manuscript is a celebration of the technology of war. It belonged to Saladin, famed to this day for bringing an end to European control of Jerusalem. Some of the weapons described in this text contributed to his success. This page shows a combination shield and concealed crossbow. AUDIO 214 Scene of Carnage Watercolor on paper 11th–13th century, probably Egypt The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Jerome A. Straka Gift, Fletcher Fund and Margaret Mushekian Gift, 1975 (1975.360) Nothing separates us from this close-up view of the chaos of war—neither distance, nor landscape, nor even handsome uniforms. Here, in the hands of an anonymous, nimble draftsman, death is laid bare with surprising intensity. The Battle of the Maccabees, in a Letter A From a choir book Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment Ca. 1360–70, probably Bologna The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Bashford Dean, 1923 (23.21.4) Medieval Christians considered the Maccabees, who regained the Temple in Jerusalem for Jewish worship, as early models for the Christian Crusaders, fighting to recapture the Holy City from Muslim control. This page illustrates a text that would have been sung during worship in a monastery. The Maccabees, dressed as medieval knights and carrying a banner marked “M,” triumphantly rout the Greek army from the city. The Stavelot Triptych Gilded copper with champlevé and cloisonné enamel, silver, émail brun, and semiprecious stones Ca. 1156–58, Meuse River valley Morgan Library and Museum, New York Gold and enamel here ennoble the most precious of relics, wood from the Cross of Jesus. The medallions on the left wing stress the importance of the Cross to the history of Christian Europe. They tell of the conversion of Constantine (ca. 273–337), the first Christian emperor, a consequence of his success in battle under the standard of the Cross. The medallions at right detail his mother Helena’s successful search for the Cross in Jerusalem. The triptych was created in northern Europe, a realm that feared correctly that it was on Jerusalem 1000-1400 the verge of losing the hard-won prize of Jerusalem. The churchman generally considered the patron of the triptych, Wibald (1098–1153), abbot of Stavelot, played a key role within a network of Crusader leaders. AUDIO 213 Crusaders Advance on Jerusalem and the Crowning of Martyrs Pot-metal glass Ca. 1158, Abbey Church of Saint Denis, France Glencairn Museum, Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania These roundels stood side by side in the Crusader window at the royal Abbey Church of Saint Denis. At left, the Crusader army, with a king on a white horse at its head, rides steadfastly toward Jerusalem. At right, all are crowned as Christian martyrs in Heavenly Jerusalem, making explicit that dying in “God’s war” earns the soldier a place in heaven. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre “The Europeans said: This is our Church. We love this place, we are bound to it. Here is the place for ornament and decoration, the pictures and the sculptures—the lions and the lion-cubs— the columns and slabs of marble.“ —Imad al-Din (1125–1201), Persian historian The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was the culmination of any Christian’s trip to Jerusalem. Within the walls of this church, known to Eastern Christians as the Church of the Resurrection (or Anastasis), are the sites where the faithful believe that Jesus was crucified, taken down from the Cross, buried, and rose from the dead. Nearly destroyed in the early eleventh century, the church was restored in 1048 by the Byzantine emperor, then dramatically rebuilt and refurbished by Europeans in the twelfth century. The church resounded with different languages of prayer: Greek, Latin, Armenian, Syriac, Georgian, Coptic, and Geez. Images in sculpture and mosaic blanketed the medieval interior, creating a sanctuary peopled with holy figures to greet the faithful. Far from passive tourists, Christian pilgrims responded to the space in a variety of ways—taking its measure with lengths of string, reading its inscriptions, kissing the pavement, and even carving small crosses into the stone walls. Syriac Breviary Tempera and ink on parchment Copied by Michael de Mar’ach 1138, Jerusalem Bibliothèque Municipale, Lyon Inviting contemplation, this great cross is framed by the inscription, “Look at him [Jesus] and your hope be in him,” in Estrangela, the Syriac alphabet. This book of church-service texts was created in the Monastery of Mary Magdalene and Saint Simon the Pharisee in Jerusalem under the leadership of Ignatius II, the Syriac bishop of Jerusalem from 1125 to 1138, who significantly expanded the monastery to provide lodging for pilgrims. Gospel Book Tempera and ink on parchment Early 14th century, Tegray Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Museum purchase with funds provided by W. Alton Jones Foundation Acquisition Fund, 1996 The Gospel illustrations here deliberately evoke the Holy Sepulchre for Christians in far-off Ethiopia. Flanked by the crucified thieves and two soldiers, a gemmed cross crowned by the Lamb of God stands in for the crucified body of Jesus, recalling the great jeweled cross that marked the spot in the church. On the Jerusalem 1000-1400 right, Jesus’s empty tomb, discovered by the surprised Holy Women, is crowned by the dome and lamps erected over it in the Holy Sepulchre. Book of Saints’ Lives Ink on parchment Copied by the monk Black John 11th century, Monastery of the Holy Cross, Jerusalem British Library, London The focus of devotion for the Georgian faithful in Jerusalem was the Crucifixion. They built the Monastery of the Holy Cross just outside the city because legend held that the tree for the Cross of Jesus grew there. At the Holy Sepulchre, they had responsibility for Golgotha, the site of the Crucifixion, in whole or in part, as early as the mid-eleventh century. A German pilgrim Ludolph von Suchem, writing in 1350, remarked that they received food, alms, candles, and oil from pilgrims through a small window. Missal of the Holy Sepulchre Tempera, gold, silver, and ink on parchment Ca. 1135–40, Jerusalem Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris With the fulfillment of their dream to possess Jerusalem, the Crusaders turned their attention to works of art like this manuscript, which contains all the texts they needed to celebrate Mass at the Holy Sepulchre. Certain pages are unusually numbered in both Latin and Armenian characters, indicating that both Europeans and Armenians took part in the creation of the book. A special prayer within its pages praises God as the builder of Jerusalem and the guardian of the city and, perhaps surprisingly, of all its people. Cross Copper 14th century, Ethiopia Private collection, United Kingdom Cross Copper 14th–15th century, Ethiopia Private collection, United Kingdom Medieval visitors to Jerusalem often remarked on the presence of Ethiopians at the Holy Sepulchre, where they maintain a chapel to this day. Openwork metal crosses are emblematic of Ethiopian ceremony. When used in procession, they are affixed to a wood pole and embellished with colorful cloth bands attached to the loops at the bottom. Each year, Ethiopian Christians, in both Jerusalem and their homeland, celebrate the Feast of the Cross, called Meskel, emphasizing their connection to the Holy Land. Element from a Royal Tomb in the Holy Sepulchre Marble 1180s, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem It is easy to forget, given the splendor left behind, that the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem was a fledgling state, with its ruler ever anxious about succession and longevity. To honor their predecessors, Crusader kings ordered resplendent tombs for the Holy Sepulchre. This architectural element was likely part of the tomb of the Crusader child king Baldwin V (reigned 1183–1186) or that of his uncle Baldwin IV (reigned 1161– 1185). Their fears proved legitimate. Neither the kingdom nor this memorial to it survives. Carved Panel Marble 10th–11th century, Jerusalem Terra Sancta Museum, Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, Jerusalem Jerusalem 1000-1400 Before the arrival of the European Crusaders, the Greek Orthodox community was the primary caretaker and patron of the Holy Sepulchre, known to them as the Church of the Anastasis. This plaque formed part of the screen, or transenna, which set off the altar area. It was created around the time that the Byzantine emperor undertook massive repairs to the church in the wake of earthquakes and large-scale destruction ordered by the mad caliph al-Hakim (985–1021). European Christians dismantled the screen after they assumed control of the church. The panel was later integrated into a royal Crusader tomb. Entry to Jerusalem Marble Before 1187, probably Jerusalem Musée du Louvre, Département des Sculptures, Paris In this carving Jesus enters Jerusalem astride a donkey and accompanied by his disciples, echoing the composition of another sculpture that was placed over the entrance to the Holy Sepulchre. This carving surely adorned a Jerusalem church, where the celebration of Jesus on Palm Sunday was particularly resonant. Medieval visitors describing the annual procession on this feast day often remarked on the multiple languages being sung and spoken. Element from a Royal Tomb in the Holy Sepulchre Marble 1180s, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem Braided ropes of stone are hallmarks of Crusader-era sculpture, easily spotted across the Old City still today. Corinthian Capital Marble Ca. 1160–80, Jerusalem Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem Distinguished by their size and variety, the columns and capitals in the interior of the Holy Sepulchre created a forestlike canopy of Byzantine and Crusader workmanship. A drill and sharp-edged chisel transformed this piece of imported white marble into a work of art worthy of the great churches of Jerusalem. Frieze with Animals Fighting Marble, with traces of paint Ca. 1160–80, Jerusalem Terra Sancta Museum, Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, Jerusalem Muslim visitors to the Holy Sepulchre were surprised to find a veritable zoo carved in stone within its sacred walls. Here, the sculptor has enlivened the cool marble with well-fed beasts that seem more playful than fierce. Abacus Marble Ca. 1160–80, Jerusalem Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem The abacus is the uppermost section of a column capital on which the entablature above rests; yet, the airiness of the scrolling acanthus vines and curling leaves seems to make its load evaporate. The Crusader artist who carved this architectural element took inspiration from the natural surroundings of the Holy Land, in particular giving prominence to the pomegranate. Works such as these were easily adapted into new contexts. An attentive eye can spot them in buildings, walls, and fountains, as well as in Islamic sacred buildings in the Old City today. Jerusalem 1000-1400 Arcade Marble Ca. 1160–80, Jerusalem Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem The original location of this piece of an arcade created for a church is unknown. What is known is that Crusaders, fleeing Jerusalem as Saladin’s army advanced, left behind many remnants of beautifully carved marble. These items were often so appreciated that they were incorporated into the building fabric of the Dome of the Rock and the Aqsa Mosque. Reliquary of Saint Anastasios of Persia Silver, gilding, and niello 969–70, Holy Land Domkapitel and Domschatzkammer, Aachen Intended to hold the skull of Saint Anastasios (died 628), this reliquary recalls the domed marble structure within the Holy Sepulchre that encloses the sacred spot of Jesus’s entombment. According to legend, the converted saint was baptized in that church, at which time he received the name Anastasios, a reference to the church’s Greek name, Anastasis. The Greek-inscribed Psalm verses refer to Jerusalem as “Sion” and the “City of God.” AUDIO 215 Canon Tables From a Gospel Book Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment 1193, Monastery of Poghoskan (P’awloskan or Pawoskan), near Hromkla, Anatolia Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Acquired by Henry Walters The exuberant decoration of these pages, which chart the relationships among the Gospels, sharply contrasts with the woeful lament in the final pages of the book. There the scribe records the sadness of the leader of the Armenian Church at the loss of Jerusalem to Saladin and his prayers for its liberation. The Annunciation From the Four Gospels Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment Late 12th–13th century, Holy Land or Cyprus British Library, London In this Greek Gospel Book, the Archangel Gabriel appears to the Virgin Mary to announce that she will become the mother of Jesus. The shrine honoring this moment is in Nazareth, sixty-five miles north of Jerusalem, long a site of Christian pilgrimage in both the Orthodox and Western European traditions. Canon Table From a Gospel Book Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment Late 11th century, Constantinople(?) Scheide Library, Princeton University Library The artist who created this Greek manuscript used resplendent architectural forms evoking Heavenly Jerusalem to frame the canon tables, a kind of medieval spreadsheet that charts the common threads among the four Gospels. Rich in color and gold, this manuscript was once in the library of the Holy Sepulchre. Jerusalem 1000-1400 The Dome of the Rock and the Aqsa Mosque “The Dome of the Rock is a great building and a work of art.” —Giorgio Gucci, a fourteenth-century pilgrim from Florence At the southwest corner of the great esplanade that overlooks Jerusalem stands the Dome of the Rock, unique in design and magnificent in scale. It enshrines a natural rock outcropping mammoth in size, variously understood as the site of Abraham’s sacrifice, the location of the tabernacle in the Temple of Solomon, and the point of departure for the Prophet Muhammad’s Ascent to Paradise. Octagonal in plan, it is a building of gemlike richness. Its mosaics, flowering and leafy as a garden in full bloom, were often said to surpass all others. It was further embellished with doors of teak, columns of marble, carpets of silk, and candles of ambergris. Nearby stands the Aqsa Mosque, the city’s great mosque. Inside, a parade of marble columns with sculpted capitals led toward a magnificent minbar, or pulpit. One proud Jerusalem native, writing in the fifteenth century, declared there to be “no other mosque in this world where one lights so many lamps.” Everyone proclaimed the beauty of these buildings, even non-Muslims. One fifteenth-century Jewish woman named Stella declared their stones to be “radiant and pure as the very heavens.” Christians went so far as to incorporate them in their own sacred landscape, referring to the Dome of the Rock as the Temple of the Lord and the Aqsa Mosque as the Temple of Solomon. Section of a Qur’an Opaque watercolor, gold, and ink on paper 13th century, Syria, the Jazira, or Egypt The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Fletcher Fund, 1924 (24.146.1) The large size of this Qur’an manuscript suggests that it was made for use in a mosque or madrasa. The gold lettering proclaims in no uncertain terms the sacredness of the text. Page from a Qur’an with Verses from Surat Maryam Opaque watercolor, gold, and ink on paper 14th century, Egypt or Syria The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Ehsan Yarshater Gift, 1975 (1975.29.1) The Surat Maryam is a chapter of the Qur’an dedicated to the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, which describes his birth in detail. In Jerusalem, a stone Cradle of Jesus at Aqsa has been the focus of devotion by Muslims for centuries. AUDIO 217 Two Volumes of the Qur’an of Nur al-Din Opaque watercolor, gold, and ink on paper and parchment Calligraphy by ‘Ali bin Ja’far bin Asad September 1167 (a.h. Dhu’l-Hijja 562), Damascus By kind permission of the Keir Collection on long-term loan by Ranros Universal S.A. to the Dallas Museum of Art The military leader Nur al-Din had these volumes of a Qur’an manuscript made for the madrasa that he founded and named for himself in Damascus. The richly decorated text originally comprised sixty volumes, a testament to its intended use in daily readings and to his generosity. But Jerusalem was Nur al-Din’s ultimate, unrealized goal, and it fell to his successor, Saladin, to recapture the city and fill its sanctuaries with similarly rich Qur’an manuscripts. Contemporary chroniclers relate that Saladin had “copies, portions, and venerated sections of the Qur’an raised up on lecterns and placed on shelves in view of visitors.” AUDIO 216 Jerusalem 1000-1400 Minbar of Nur al-Din in the Aqsa Mosque Albumen print Félix Bonfils (1831–1885) Ca. 1867–99, Jerusalem Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. In 1969, the minbar was destroyed in a fire deliberately set in the mosque by a radical evangelical Christian. This early photograph gives some sense of the masterpiece that was lost. After the fire King Abdullah II of Jordan commissioned a copy from the engineer and architect Minwer Meheid, who unraveled the secrets of the original design. That minbar has graced the mosque since 2007. AUDIO 216 Lantern Stonepaste with underglazed luster paint Early 13th century, Syria, probably Raqqa The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891 (91.1.138) Domes, a defining attribute of the Holy City, are especially prominent at the Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. This domed lamp’s combination of ogival arch and rose window, emblematic of Islamic and Christian architecture respectively, echoes the additions made by the Crusaders to the Aqsa Mosque when they dubbed it the Temple of Solomon. Perfume Sprinkler (Qumqum) 11th–mid-13th century, probably Syria Glass The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Richard S. Perkins Gift, 1977 (1977.164) Aromatics figured prominently in rituals, both everyday and sacred. Following a meal, people not only rinsed their mouths with rosewater but also sprinkled their clothes and faces with it. Rosewater might also be used to perfume the shrouds of the dead. It was considered a virtuous act for the nephew of Saladin to wash the courts and colonnades of the Dome of the Rock with rosewater after his uncle’s reconquest of Jerusalem, thereby purifying the space and imbuing it with sweet fragrance. Double Capital with Griffins Marble Ca. 1140–50, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu, Jerusalem Sculptors in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem often carved intertwining beasts, imaginary creatures, and serpents. Similar carvings can be found in the Aqsa Mosque. Were they installed during the Crusader occupation, or since white marble was not available in the Holy Land, were they reused from a Christian setting after the Crusaders were expelled in 1187? The historian Ibn al-Athir (1160–1233) explains that “the Frankish population of Jerusalem began to sell at very low prices all their possessions, treasures and whatever they could not carry with them. . . . What they could not sell they left behind; even superb columns of marble and slabs of marble and mosaics in large quantities.” Drawing of Capitals in the Dome of the Rock and the Aqsa Mosque Watercolor, ink, and gold on paper William Harvey (1883–1962) 1909, Jerusalem Victoria and Albert Museum, London. . Given by Mr John Harvey, FSA, FRSL, son of the Artist. Visitors to Jerusalem, in modern times and ancient, frequently remarked on the finely carved marble in the city. In this drawing, Harvey singled out two capitals for attention. A keen-eyed engineer, he likely noticed that both were Byzantine carvings, reused in the finest buildings on the Haram al-Sharif. Jerusalem 1000-1400 Mosque Lamps of Sultan Barquq Glass with gold and enamel 1382–99, Egypt or Syria Victoria and Albert Museum, London; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.989) For reasons both practical and symbolic, hanging glass oil lamps were an integral component of mosques and Islamic schools. At the Dome of the Rock and Aqsa Mosque, they numbered in the hundreds. In an Islamic context, they often include words from the Qur’an: “God is the light of the heavens and the earth.” Each of these lamps also bears the name of their donor, Sultan Barquq (died 1399), an active patron of architecture in his capital, Cairo, and in Jerusalem. Textile with Arabic Inscriptions Linen and silk; tapestry weave 12th century, Egypt The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1929 (29.136.2) This masterfully woven tapestry not only repeats the name of God but also spells out the foundational pronouncement of Islamic belief, the shahada. It begins with “in the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate” and continues with “there is no God but God.” At the bottom it proclaims “victory is from God.” Reed Mat Hemp and straw; weft-faced plain weave First half of the 10th century, Tiberias The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1939 (39.113) Contemporary sources reveal that hundreds if not thousands of mats like this one covered the floors of sanctuaries such as the Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock, and, in Hebron, the Tomb of the Patriarchs. This example bears an inscription in Arabic that reads “complete blessing and universal prosperity and continued happiness and joy to its owner.” Portion of a Garment Linen, silk, and metal-wrapped thread, plain weave and tapestry weave 12th century, Egypt The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1929 (29.136.4) Finely woven with silk and gold threads, this luxurious textile was likely part of a cloak. The word “Allah” (God) appears repeatedly, woven along the edge. Domed Box Brass with silver inlay Late 13th–early 14th century, Syria Courtesy of the L. A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art, Jerusalem Boxes like this one seem to echo the great domed buildings of the Islamic world. Across faiths, the domes of Jerusalem signal the presence of the sacred and hint at competing claims for the attention of the faithful. Lengthy inscriptions encircling this box praise its original owner, who remains anonymous. Mosque Lamp of Sultan al-Zahir Baybars Brass, inlaid with silver and black compound Probably 1277 (a.h. 676), Damascus Museum of Islamic Art, Doha The light that emanated from this pierced metal lamp was surely more suited to creating an atmosphere of mystery and reverence than to reading. Indeed, the inscription reveals that it was made for the tomb of Sultan Baybars (reigned 1260–1277), who played a significant role in expelling the Franks from the Holy Land. Jerusalem 1000-1400 Watercolor of the Dome of the Rock Watercolor, ink, and gold on paper William Harvey (1883–1962) 1909, Jerusalem Victoria and Albert Museum, London. . Given by Mr John Harvey, FSA, FRSL, son of the Artist. In this detailed, colorful drawing, Harvey, an English engineer, clearly marveled at both the structure of the Dome of the Rock and its exquisite interior. Variegated marble shafts, golden mosaics, and stained glass all combine to create an air of sanctity and contribute to a sense of heaven on earth. The Generosity of Patrons “You are like unto the rose, O Jerusalem, and like unto the lily, O Jerusalem; In your footprints, O Jerusalem, I run, my heart consumed with love, O Jerusalem.” —Grigor Tgha (ca. 1133–1193), Armenian poet Good works, charity, and prayer are central tenets of all the religions that revere Jerusalem, and these virtues possessed a special luster when done in, or for, that city. Jewish teaching maintained that prayer should be directed toward Jerusalem, and Muslim writings asserted that a good deed done in the Holy City equaled one thousand deeds performed elsewhere. The city benefited materially from its privileged status. Patronage was manifested in various ways, from imposing architectural structures to precious works of art enriching interior spaces, to endowments supporting charitable activities. One did not need to live there to feel its pull. Jerusalem’s streets included many a building commissioned from afar; its churches, mosques, synagogues, schools, and libraries possessed works sent by devotees who never set foot inside its walls. Certainly the most visible patrons were the city’s rulers—emperors, kings, caliphs, sultans, queens, and princesses—but its culture of philanthropy encouraged a wide spectrum of donors, with even the lowliest seeking opportunities to give. The city was enhanced not only by the largesse of resident ladies and merchants but also by scholars, pilgrims, and the abiding presence of its many religious communities. Crozier of Jacques de Vitry Elephant ivory and bone 1216–before 1240, Sicily (or Acre?) Musée des Arts Anciens du Namurois, Namur Imitating the crooks used by shepherds to wrangle wayward sheep, croziers symbolize a bishop’s role as herder of the faithful. As bishop of Acre, a thriving port and gateway to the Holy Land, Jacques de Vitry was sometimes frustrated at the enormity of that task: “I found the town of Acre, like a monster or a beast, having nine heads, each fighting the other.” He longed for Jerusalem, which he described as “honored by angels and frequented by every people under heaven.” At the same time, he never lost sight of his European home, sending back the many treasures acquired in the Holy Land to await his eventual return. Ring of Jacques de Vitry Gold with sapphire Ca. 1216–40, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem(?) Musée des Arts Anciens du Namurois, Namur In his writings, Jacques de Vitry linked both gold and sapphires to the Holy Land, making them most appropriate for the ring that he wore as bishop of Acre. Jerusalem 1000-1400 Reliquary Cross of Jacques de Vitry Cross: gilded silver, cloisonné enamel on gold, semiprecious stones, and glass; base: gilded copper Enamels: ca. 1160–80, eastern Mediterranean; cross: soon after 1216, Acre; base: after 1228, Oignies Musée des Arts Anciens du Namurois, Namur Several clues suggest that this cross was made in Acre, a gateway to the Holy Land for European Christian pilgrims, where Jacques de Vitry was bishop. The city was a wealthy international center for trade, where a goldsmith might incorporate twelfth-century Byzantine enamels into a newly created cross. Set in roundels that were trimmed to fit the new setting, the enamels of saints are not logically arranged, suggesting that the goldsmith could not read the Greek inscriptions identifying them. Firman of Baybars II Ink on paper July 11, 1309 (A.H. 1 Safar 709), Cairo Terra Sancta Museum, Historical Archive, Jerusalem By special decree, or firman, Sultan Baybars II (reigned 1309–1310) granted the Franciscan friars of the Holy Land the right to establish themselves at the Holy Sepulchre, on Mount Sion (just outside Jerusalem’s walls), and at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Though Christians did not govern Jerusalem any longer, pilgrims still thronged to the city, and the Franciscans helped guide and smooth their paths. By their presence they continued to enrich the city and preserve its Christian treasures. Volume of a Qur’an of Sultan Baybars II (Sura 14:23–52, 27) Opaque watercolor, gold, and ink on paper Calligraphy by ibn al-Wahid and illumination of this volume attributed to Muhammad ibn Mubadir 1304–6, Cairo British Library, London Copies of the Qur’an were often presented to mosques and madrasas as evidence of a sultan’s generosity and piety. The fourth of seven volumes, this elegant and richly decorated Qur’an manuscript contains several suras (chapters) that resonate with Jewish and Christian tradition. Sura 14 concerns the prophet Abraham; Sura 17 speaks of the Prophet Muhammad’s Night Journey to Jerusalem; Sura 19 focuses on the Virgin Mary and the priesthood of Jesus; and Sura 21 names prophets shared among the three Abrahamic faiths. Gospel Book of Queen Mariun Text: tempera, gold, and ink on paper; illuminations tipped into the text: on parchment Written by Nerses, a priest, and illuminated by Sargis Pidzak 1346, Sis Armenian Patriarchate, Jerusalem In this image, the celebrated painter Sargis Pidzak places Princess Femi, daughter of Mariun, queen of Armenia, in first-century Bethlehem. Kneeling, she pours a bath for the newborn Jesus, who already has one foot in the basin. Did such imaginings narrow the distance between Armenia and Bethlehem for Queen Mariun, for whom this book was made? Late in life, Queen Mariun made Jerusalem her home, joining the community of Armenian nuns there and likely offering this book as a gift at that time. AUDIO 219 Gospel Book Tempera, gold, and ink on paper; evangelist portraits: on parchment Written and decorated by Arak’el; evangelist portraits by Sargis Pidzak 1312, copied and decorated at the Monastery of Lazar, Taron; evangelist portraits: Sis and Cilicia Armenian Patriarchate, Jerusalem More than seventy years after it was painted, Armenian pilgrims carried this manuscript to Jerusalem and donated it to the Cathedral of Saint James. Here Matthew, author of one of the four Christian gospels, places a book on one knee as he begins to write. He sits in a richly decorated interior. As in the Armenian cathedral Jerusalem 1000-1400 that graces the quarter where the Armenians of Jerusalem have resided for centuries, colorful patterning imparts an air of sanctity. Choir Books of the Franciscans of Bethlehem Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment Andrea di Bartolo (active in Siena and Venice, 1380–1429) and workshop Ca. 1401–4, Venice Terra Sancta Museum, Bibliotheca Custodialis, Jerusalem In presenting these massive and colorful books to the Franciscan community in Bethlehem, Henry IV of England (1367–1413) asked that they pray for the soul of his father. The friars’ daily routine followed a rhythm of communal prayer and singing, reflected in these volumes. The Prophet Isaiah, in a Letter H The prophet Isaiah stands outside the walls of Jerusalem, as the hymn proclaims: “Jerusalem, thy salvation cometh quickly; why art thou wasted with sorrow? . . . Fear not, for I will save thee.” The Battle of the Maccabees, in a Letter A Europeans fighting for the Holy Land considered the Maccabees, Jews of the second century b.c., as exemplars of the struggle for Jerusalem. The hymn that begins with this pitched battle is a plea for peace taken from the book of Maccabees. Heraclius Carries the Cross, in a Letter D Here the emperor Heraclius II appears at the gates of Jerusalem, having recovered the Cross of Jesus, which had been stolen by the Persians. Out of humility, he enters barefoot, without his blue robe or crown, which are held by his attendants. The text “O sweet wood, o sweet nails” does not emphasize Jerusalem, but in portraying this scene, the artist does. The Metalwork of Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad ibn Qala’un The metalwork assembled here bears brilliant witness to Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad (1285–1341) and his patronage of precious works of art and great architectural monuments in Jerusalem. Such vessels were dispersed across the world he governed, from Egypt to the Holy Land. The sultan’s name and titles are the focus of the decoration on these objects; the same titles are writ large on monuments he commissioned in Jerusalem. Among other honors, he is the “servant of the two noble holy places,” which during his reign meant Jerusalem and Hebron. AUDIO 220 Incense Box and Incense Burner Brass, gold, silver, and black compound 14th century, Egypt or Syria Museum of Islamic Art, Doha With its tiny dome, this box seems to acknowledge a symbiotic relationship between metalwork and architecture. During his reign, al-Nasir Muhammad restored the domes of both the Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. From as early as the late twelfth century, sultans were associated with “sweet, heady perfume,” so it is fitting that his name and attributes should appear on a vessel in which incense or other aromatics would be burned. Jerusalem 1000-1400 Tr a y Museum of Islamic Art, Doha Basin with Flared Lip Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples Basin L. A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art, Jerusalem Large Basin with Flared Lip Museum of Islamic Art, Doha All brass with inlaid decoration in gold, silver, and black compound Early 14th century, Egypt or Syria Whether some vessels had sacred or secular usage is difficult to say with certainty, for even utilitarian objects like ewers, basins, and trays could be used in daily exercises of faith, given the importance of both ritual washing and hospitality in Islam. Single-Volume Qur’an Opaque watercolor, gold, and ink on paper Copied by Muhammad bin Bilik al-Muhsini al-Nasiri 1330 (A.H. 730), Cairo By kind permission of the Keir Collection, on long-term loan by Ranros Universal S.A. to the Dallas Museum of Art This manuscript was made for the royal treasury of Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad ibn Qala’un (1285–1341) in Cairo. At the same time, he was mindful of his responsibility to the holy city of Jerusalem and actively sponsored the building of commercial, scholarly, and religious establishments there, many of which still stand today. Copies of the Qur’an were integral components of a sultan’s patronage to mosques and madrasas. The Death of Baldwin II and the Coronation of Fulk From History of Deeds Done Beyond the Sea Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment Written by William of Tyre (died 1186) Ca. 1300/ca. 1340, Paris Walters Art Museum, Baltimore This text and its illustrations celebrate the achievements and illuminate the trials of the European rulers of Jerusalem. In this scene they contend with royal succession. At his death in 1131, King Baldwin II (reigned 1118–1131), recognizes his daughter, Melisende, and her husband, Fulk, as the next rulers, with the clergy as his witnesses. The text specifies that the two were crowned together in the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Sadly, the French illustrator of this fourteenth-century book defies the evidence of the text and other historical sources, portraying the queen in a minor role. The Psalter of Melisende, Queen of Jerusalem Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment Ca. 1135, Scriptorium of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem British Library, London From a kingdom forged in conquest, this precious book bears witness to the creative artistic milieu that emerged after the First Crusade (1095–1099). It is linked to a queen born of a marriage of East and West and reflects the cultural richness of her family’s place in society. The Transfiguration, shown within, depends on Orthodox visual traditions, the world of her maternal grandfather, while the depiction of the Raising of Lazarus from a house-like tomb reflects the French tradition from which her father came. AUDIO 218 Jerusalem 1000-1400 Covers for the Psalter of Melisende, Queen of Jerusalem Ivory with semiprecious stones Ca. 1135, Jerusalem British Library, London The ivory covers for Queen Melisende’s psalter provide moral examples to the royal owner: the front traces the life of the biblical king David, while the back focuses on acts of mercy. This book hints at her larger involvement as a major patron of convents and churches across several Christian denominations. ALSO AUDIO 218 Cross of Sibyl of Anjou Walrus ivory After 1134–before 1156, Meuse River valley Musée du Louvre, Département des Objets d’Art, Paris Sibyl of Anjou (ca. 1112–1165), stepdaughter of Melisende, queen of Jerusalem, appears as a tiny, veiled figure at the foot of the cross, which was once part of a book cover. An inscription over her head begs Jesus and Mary for pardon, and her upraised glance, gesture, and pose suggest the urgency of her plea. This ivory was carved in Europe, where she lived after her wedding. After many years and multiple children, Sibyl traveled to the Holy Land, where she eventually joined the convent at Bethany, just outside Jerusalem, which Melisende had endowed. None of the items that Melisende presented to the convent have survived, but this ivory gives some indication of the community’s wealth. The Promise of Eternity “Can we have hope or certainty in East or West or anywhere but in the one land full of gates that face the open gates of heaven?” —Judah ha-Levi (1075–1141), poet and philosopher from Spain The sanctity of Jerusalem depends as much on its proximity to heaven as on its biblical past. This is the city believed to be the closest point to the skies, the place on earth where the Messiah would appear, where humankind—living and dead, faithful and inﬁdel—would be gathered and judged, where the ﬁnal battles would be waged, and from which the Heavenly City would emerge triumphant. Whatever their diferences, Jews, Christians, and Muslims hold that Jerusalem serves as the meeting place of God and humanity, the gateway to heaven, and the terrestrial threshold of the eternal world. No matter the form, art that seeks to represent the Eternal Jerusalem invariably offers a feast for the eyes. This is an art of dreamlike beauty, born of hope and often tinged with a sense of foreboding about the end of time. Night Journey of the Prophet Muhammad From the World History or Compendium of Chronicles (Jami‘ al-tawarikh) Opaque watercolor, gold, and ink on paper Written by Rashid al-Din (1247–1318) 1314, Tabriz Courtesy of the University of Edinburgh Created by Rashid al-Din, the vizier of the Mongol ruler of Persia, this page tells of the Prophet’s miraculous Night Journey from Mecca to Jerusalem, and thence to the heavens. Riding on the back of Buraq, seen as a dapple-gray horse with a human head and tail, he is greeted by angels. He is presented with a copy of the Qur’an whose binding with a protective flap is typical of medieval Islamic manuscripts. Asked to choose among water, milk, wine, and honey, the Prophet opts for milk, thereby saving his community from drowning, drunkenness, and unbelief. Jerusalem 1000-1400 Triptych Reliquary of the Cross Gilded copper, champlevé enamel, émail brun, and rock crystal Ca. 1160–70, Meuse River valley Private collection, United Kingdom Christ in the heavens presides over the End of Days, when angels sound trumpets awakening the dead and a benevolent Justice weighs their souls, with Mercy and Piety acting as advocates. Angels representing Truth and Judgment once guarded a now-lost relic of the Cross, but the entire scene is framed as a treasure, kept safely hidden until the beholder folds back the doors. The Archangel Israfil From The Wonders of Creation and Oddities of Existence (‘Aja’ib al-Makhluqat) Opaque watercolor and ink on paper Written by al-Qazwini (1202–1283) Late 14th–early 15th century, Egypt or Syria British Museum, London In Islamic belief, as in Christianity, archangels will play a key role in the Last Judgment. Heralding the Day of Resurrection, the angel Israfil blows his trumpet, calling all creatures to assemble in Jerusalem. The celestial being is named not in the Qur’an but in hadith, or the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, and scholars specify that he sounds his call from the sacred Rock. He is discussed along with Gabriel, whose entry begins on this folio, and other angels in this cosmographic study of both the divine and material aspects of the world. The Vision of Daniel From a lectionary Ink and colored washes on paper Illustrated by Mkrtich’ and written by Varden and sons 1334, Vahnashen Morgan Library and Museum, New York The book of Daniel is one of several in the Bible that presents a vision of the End of Time. It bears the hallmarks of the genre: angels, epic battles, monstrous beasts, and the destruction and restoration of Jerusalem. In this book of readings for an Armenian church service, Daniel sits below, contemplating his apocalyptic vision above. This lectionary maintains the early Jerusalem format that provides instructions for the ceremonies of important feast days at the holy places in and around the city, thus providing a link to the Holy Land for the faithful in far-off Armenia.
Gabriel Appears to Daniel From the Las Huelgas Apocalypse Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment 1220, possibly Toledo Morgan Library and Museum, New York Because of the prophet Daniel’s many visions of the End of Time, he often figures in medieval manuscripts of the Apocalypse. Here, distressed by the prophecy that Jerusalem would remain desolate for seventy years, Daniel pleads for reassurance, whereupon the Archangel Gabriel swoops down from above the Temple altar to divulge that the sentence is actually seventy times that amount. So distraught is Daniel that he fasts and languishes ill in bed. At bottom left, Gabriel foretells of a great apocalyptic battle between the Persians and the Greeks. Folios from the Paths of Paradise (Nahj al-faradis) Opaque watercolor, gold, and ink on paper Written by al-Sara’i and commissioned by the ruler Abu Sa‘id (reigned 1451-1469) Ca. 1466, Herat The account of the Prophet Muhammad’s miraculous nocturnal journey to Jerusalem, and thence to the heavens, is a central tenet of Islamic belief. Accordingly, Persian Muslim artists rose to the challenge of Jerusalem 1000-1400 honoring this momentous event with exquisite paintings. The six folios represented here come from a lavishly illustrated manuscript, written in Turkic and created for the Timurid monarch Abu Sa‘id, who ruled over vast lands in Central Asia. Muhammad progresses through a dreamlike world and successive realms of the heavens, where he meets the prophets who preceded him, including Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. All appear as dignified figures moving through a landscape of paradise. Paths of Paradise: The Prophet Muhammad Arriving at the Fourth Heaven (recto) and The Prophet Muhammad Encountering Jesus in the Bayt al-Ma’mur (verso) Private collection, London Led by the Archangel Gabriel, identified by his red-tipped wings, Muhammad arrives at the fourth heaven astride his hybrid half-human steed Buraq, where angels greet him as though acknowledging their master. Muhammad then goes to a palace guarded by seventy thousand angels, where he meets with Jesus. The Prophet Muhammad before the Angel with Seventy Heads David Collection, Copenhagen After passing through the sixth heaven, Muhammad encounters an angel with seventy heads, each one bearing seventy tongues with which to continuously praise God. Paths of Paradise: The Prophet Muhammad in the Place of Seventy Thousand Veils and The Prophet Muhammad in the Place of Seven Hundred Thousand Tents Sarikhani Collection, Oxfordshire Muhammad sees seventy thousand curtains made of light, fire, precious stones, pearls, or gold. Seventy thousand angels guard these curtains, one of whom leads him through to the throne of God, which is ringed by seven hundred thousand tents of enormous proportions, each housing five hundred thousand angels reciting praise to God. The Prophet Muhammad Encountering the Angel ‘Azra’il (recto) and The Prophet Muhammad Arriving at the White Sea (verso) Sarikhani Collection, Oxfordshire Amid the swirling golden mists of heaven, Muhammad and Gabriel encounter ‘Azra’il, the angel of death, before arriving at the shores of the white sea. Paths of Paradise: The Prophet Muhammad at the Gates of Paradise David Collection, Copenhagen Gabriel brings Muhammad to the Gates of Paradise, marked by domes constructed of precious stone. Before the gates is the Kawthar Basin, whose waters are sweeter than honey. Drinking vessels made of gold, jade, and celadon-glazed ceramics ring the basin, and all who drink will never suffer from thirst again. Paths of Paradise: The Prophet Muhammad Visiting the Heavenly Pavilion of Abraham (recto) and The Prophet Muhammad Visiting the Pavilions Made from Rubies in Paradise (verso) Private collection, London Muhammad is taken to the pavilion of Abraham (who also bears a halo of flames), where young children who suffered a premature death live on in paradise under the patriarch’s guardianship. The arrival of the Black Death in the Crimea coincided with the writing of the Paths of Paradise, and this text would have provided comfort to those who had experienced loss. Muhammad then reaches a pavilion made of rubies, here interpreted in gold and precious textiles, where he finds beautiful houris, the unsullied beings promised to those who reach paradise. AUDIO 221 Jerusalem 1000-1400 The Feast of the Righteous From the Ambrosian Bible Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment Ca. mid-13th century, Ulm(?) Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan Concluding this Hebrew Bible is the End of Days. On the right are the sun, moon, stars, and the heavenly spheres. The man, lion, ox, and eagle of the Divine Chariot described by the prophet Ezekiel occupy the corners. The facing page shows the Feast of the Righteous, as elaborated in the Bible and in Jewish legend. At top, the winged Ziz appears, alongside the red Behemoth and fishlike Leviathan, who will fight to the death before being served at the feast seen below. The remaining portions of the Leviathan will then be distributed in the markets of Jerusalem, and its silver skin will be spread on the city’s walls, making them sparkle. As in a thirteenth- and early fourteenth-century German Jewish tradition, the artists avoided depicting recognizably human figures. Gospel Book Tempera and ink on parchment Late 14th–early 15th century, Amhara region The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1998 (1998.66) Following established Ethiopian tradition, this Gospel Book closes the canon tables, or concordance of the Gospels, with a circular structure known as a tholos. The four columns represent the harmony of the Four Gospels, and their shape calls to mind the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The final canon table on the left bears an elaborately mounted cross that can be related to Heavenly Jerusalem. Chasse with the Crucifixion and Christ in Majesty Gilded copper and champlevé enamel Ca. 1180–90, Limoges The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.514) This chasse, or reliquary shaped like a medieval church, depicts Jesus’s earthly Crucifixion below and his divine Second Coming above, surrounded by the symbols of the Four Evangelists as described in the Apocalypse. The spectacular architectural details and enameled decoration evoke Heavenly Jerusalem, composed of precious metals and stones. Chasse with Christ in Majesty and the Lamb of God Gilded copper and champlevé enamel Ca. 1180–90, Limoges The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.523) The divine architecture, Lamb of God, Greek letters alpha and omega, and enthroned Christ with the symbols of the Four Evangelists all correspond to the description of Heavenly Jerusalem at the Second Coming of Christ as outlined in the Apocalypse (book of Revelation). Saint Peter, proclaimed by Jesus to be the holder of the keys of heaven, has been stationed beside the keyholes that provide access to the holy relics. Chasse of Ambazac From the Treasury of Grandmont Gilded copper, champlevé enamel, rock crystal, semiprecious stones, faience, and glass Ca. 1180–90, Limoges Mairie d’Ambazac Constructed of radiant gold and adorned in semiprecious stones, this magnificent chasse needs no figural imagery to evoke Heavenly Jerusalem. The resplendent edifice conveys the divine light with which the heavenly city glowed, even presenting illuminated stained-glass windows interpreted in delicate enamel. Although French in origin, the reliquary is firmly linked to the eastern Mediterranean, as among its translucent stones are drops of turquoise-colored faience, a type of ceramic associated with that region. Jerusalem 1000-1400 The Duke of Sussex’s Catalan Bible Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment Mid-14th century, Catalonia British Library, London The inclusion of the Mount of Olives—a painted mound at the lower left corner—among the glittering implements underscores the prophetic message of these pages as conveyed by the biblical prophet Zechariah. He foretells that at the dawn of the Age of Redemption, God will return to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, which shall split in two and release springs of water. According to Rabbinic literature, caverns on that hillside will open, allowing the resurrected righteous to emerge. These specific details highlight the yearning among Jews of the Diaspora for the Jerusalem of the next age. Bible Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment First quarter of the 14th century, Catalonia Jay and Jeannie Schottenstein Collection, Columbus Spanish Jews commonly referred to the Bible as the “Temple of God” (“Mikdash-yah”) and thus equipped it with the prescribed implements. On the right shines the seven-branched menorah and the Ark of the Covenant containing the Ten Commandments, which is crowned by two golden cherubs. Below are the flowering priestly staff of Aaron, the manna jar, and the table for showing bread. To the left stand the two altars, the laver for water, and assorted musical instruments and implements. The Perpignan Bible Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment 1299, Perpignan Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris Treasuries of shimmering ritual vessels appear in more than twenty Hebrew manuscripts created in Catalonia and Provence beginning at the end of the thirteenth century. Each object displayed is described in the Bible as a requisite element for God’s dwelling place on earth, whether the portable sanctuary erected in the desert, the Temple in Jerusalem, or the Temple to be rebuilt at the End of Days. They thus honor the past and express hope for the future. In this Bible, the text framing the implements reads, “May it be your will that the Temple be speedily rebuilt in our days so that our eyes may see it and our hearts rejoice.” The Catalan Mahzor Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment 1280, Catalonia The National Library of Israel, Jerusalem, donated to the National Library of Israel by Ludwig and Erica Jesselson In this prayer book for the high holidays, the Temple implements are intricately woven out of minute script. The texts that outline the vessels—all from the biblical book of Psalms—speak of hope in destitution, God’s protection of his people, God’s glory, and above else, Jerusalem. One passage touchingly implores: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, may those who love [it] be at peace” (Psalms 122:6). Next Year in Jerusalem From the Barcelona Haggadah Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment Ca. 1360–70, Catalonia British Library, London The concluding line of the Haggadah, the liturgical text of the Passover Seder commemorating the Exodus from Egypt, proclaims: “Next Year in Jerusalem.” This shining declaration explicitly locates future redemption in the Holy City. A hare, often appearing in Hebrew manuscripts as the symbol of a persecuted people, rests peacefully between the vines, secure in the Jerusalem of the coming age. AUDIO 222 Jerusalem 1000-1400 Saint John Sees Heavenly Jerusalem From The Cloisters Apocalypse Tempera, gold, silver, and ink on parchment Ca. 1330, Normandy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Cloisters Collection, 1968 (68.174) In John the Evangelist’s vision of the End of Days, an angel reveals Heavenly Jerusalem, shining like glass and embedded with precious stones. The artist has interpreted that luminous quality in silver, making the city appear at once more solid yet more ethereal than the mountain before it. On the right, John observes the water of life flowing from the throne of God, watering fruit trees that heal the nations. “Jerusalem is the most sublime of cities. It unites in itself the advantages of this world and the next.” —Al-Muqaddasi (ca. 946–991), Jerusalem native and geographer
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