Conferencistas · Ponentes confirmados
Luís Urbano Afonso, Faculdade de Letras - Universidade de Lisboa
The intercontinental journey of a late medieval Andalusian Hebrew manuscript
In the late 15th century several Hebrew manuscripts were produced in Andalusia with a distinctive character in terms of decoration. Mostly Bibles, these manuscripts differentiate themselves from other Sephardic manuscripts by their strong aniconism, near absence of colour and similarity with Islamic decorative patterns. The decorative component of these manuscripts is clearly the work of scribes and calligraphers and not the work of painters and illuminators.
The current paper addresses the itinerary of one of these manuscripts, analyzes its cultural, social and artistic meanings in the context of early protoglobalisation, and addresses the role of Jewish networks in the process. The manuscript in question (BNF Hebr. 1314-1315) was probably produced in Seville around 1470. Later, it moved across the Mediterranean, either through North Africa routes or through the Ottoman Empire until it entered in Egypt and arrived in Aden, in the Indian Ocean. The combination of a highly skilled calligraphy with a rigorous critical apparatus, and the use of an artistic language based on Islamic patterns, turned this Andalusian manuscript into a model for other Bibles produced in Yemen, at least since the 17th century, where it was bought in the 19th century.