The so-called Golden Haggadah, illuminated in Catalunia (possibly Barcelona) between 1320 and 1330 is often described as being among the most beautiful manuscripts created for Jews in the Middle Ages. It contains some stunning, yet mysterious images and its patron is unknown. Reading and interpreting those images against their historical and textual backgrounds, Professor Marc Michael Epstein of Vassar College presents startling new speculations regarding its original patrons and the times in which they lived—the vibrant world of high medieval Sephardic culture. Epstein suggests that a Jewish woman was behind the commission, and adduces extraordinary artistic evidence to support his fascinating and controversial thesis.
Marc Michael Epstein, PhD
Professor, Vassar College
Marc Michael Epstein is Professor of Religion at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he has taught since 1992. He has written on various topics in visual and material culture produced by, for, and about Jews. His most recent book, The Medieval Haggadah: Art, Narrative, and Religious Imagination (Yale University Press, 2011) was selected by the London Times Literary Supplement as one of the Best Books of the Year. During the 80s, Epstein was Director of the Hebrew Books and Manuscripts division of Sotheby's Judaica department, and continues to serve as consultant to various libraries, auction houses, museums and private collectors throughout the world.
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