Insight into Jewish culture and the emergence of a manuscript: a Haggadah with 100 bright miniatures adorned with gold and silver

Prato Haggadah

Spain — Around 1300

Prato Haggadah

Prato Haggadah

Spain — Around 1300

  1. Jewish culture is communicated in a fantastic manner through this Spanish manuscript from ca. 1300

  2. 100 miniatures with bright colors and precious gold and silver depict birds, animals, and mythic creatures

  3. Some of the miniatures have remained incomplete and give an interesting insight into the origins of the manuscript

Prato Haggadah

Prato Haggadah

Hunting Dog in Pursuit

This manuscript is exemplary of the animals and drolleries that were popular décor in Hebrew manuscripts. On the right, a horned drollery is seated on the tip of the marginalia while a blackbird has perched itself on a leaf to the left. A pink greyhound is seen running, but upon closer look it is pursuing something – a rabbit that was not colored in before the manuscript was completed. Below and to the left, the tracing of an uncolored songbird can also be found.

Prato Haggadah

Alternative Titles:
  • Haggadah de Prato
  • Prato-Haggadah
  • Prato-Haggada
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Imageof
Price Category: €€€ (3,000€ - 7,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

Jewish culture is communicated in a fantastic manner through this manuscript from Spain, which was completed ca. 1300. Unbelievably rich and extraordinarily refined in its artistic decoration, the so-called Prato Haggadah brings the celebratory texts and songs of Passover meal on the occasion of the freeing of the Israelites from Egyptian imprisonment to full expression. Through the rare event that several of the miniatures are left uncompleted, it is possible to comprehend the creation process of a magnificently decorated manuscript. Furthermore, the Prato Haggadah is one of the oldest Spanish Haggadot in history.

Prato Haggadah

Jewish culture is communicated in a fantastic manner through this manuscript from Spain, which was completed ca. 1300. Unbelievably rich and extraordinarily refined in its artistic decoration, the so-called Prato Haggadah brings the celebratory texts and songs of Passover meal on the occasion of the freeing of the Israelites from Egyptian imprisonment to full expression. Through the rare event that several of the miniatures are left uncompleted, it is possible to comprehend the creation process of a magnificently decorated manuscript. Furthermore, the Prato Haggadah is one of the oldest Spanish Haggadot in history.

Huge Importance for Passover

The Passover festival on the occasion of the flight of the Israelites from Egypt stands as a central pillar within Jewish culture. Therefore on the eve of the event, a special feast is held. Accompanying this great meal are stories from the Book of Exodus and songs, which are read aloud from the Haggadah, as well as sung. Especially valuable texts like the Prato-Haggadah were rarely on hand. It can be speculated, whether or not this text was given by an important patron, or whether the book with the religious text had another context.

A Magnificent Manuscript for a Synagogue?

Unlike most Haggadot, the Prato Haggadah contains no text that is immediately connected with the actual meal, food, and rights at the table. This fact has led to the assumption that the Spanish manuscript was used for public readings in a Synagogue, and the faithful would head home for their own personal Haggadah in their residence. The splendid layout of the manuscript would also underline this assumption. Originating ca. 1300 in Spain – counting as one of the oldest Spanish Haggadot – the Prato Haggadah impresses next to the Hebrew text, especially through its richly pictorial furnishings.

Extraordinary Artistic Design

100 miniatures are collected throughout the 160 pages. They are enriched with bright colors and precious gold and silver. One can even find entire page depictions – like a Passover meal – as bright borders for the lines of text in the form of ornamental jewelry, which are provided figurative elements. Mythical creatures, birds, dogs, and other animals romp between the stylized leaflets. The artist clearly let his fantasies run free here, as he integrated humorous and soulful scenes. Thus, many pages are witness to a large rabbit hunt. Even the initials are artfully decorated and rounded by a partly colorful frame.

An Anomaly of Manuscripts

Despite the splendid design of the manuscript, the work is nonetheless an unfinished illuminated Hebrew manuscript. This makes it an extraordinarily rare specimen and allows the beholder an interesting glimpse into the creation process of a manuscript. Thus the production steps required to craft a fine script can come to be fully understood, which only serves to bring the beholder and the original artists together. The Prato Haggadah is therefore, considered in its totality, an invaluable work both for the history of art, and also for the analysis of the most important festival on the Jewish calendar, Passover.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Haggadah de Prato
Prato-Haggadah
Prato-Haggada
Size / Format
160 pages / 21.0 x 14.0 cm
Origin
Spain
Date
Around 1300
Style
Hebrew
Language
Illustrations
40 miniatures illuminated in gold and silver and 60 partially illuminated or only drawn
Prato Haggadah

Prato Haggadah

Incipit Page

This incipit page is a wonderful blend of Hebrew illumination and the Spanish Gothic style from ca. 1300. It has an unusual palette that takes the typical primary colors and lightens them: the blue is brighter and contrasted with reds that are either more purple or orange in tone. Thick gold leaf ennobles the artistry of this perfectly executed but incomplete page.

One can clearly see a monkey holding a fruit, a two-legged hybrid, a crane, and in the upper margin another crane, but this one has the head of a huntsman. Upon closer inspection, a rabbit and a songbird can be found in the lower margin. Only their traces can be seen, and like most miniatures in this manuscript, they were not colored before work on it suddenly and mysteriously ended.

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Prato Haggadah“

Prato Haggadah
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Prato Haggadah – Ms. 9478 – Library of Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, USA)
Imageof

Prato Haggadah

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Patrimonio Ediciones – Valencia, 2006
Limited Edition
100 copies
Commentary
1 volume by Nellie Stavisky, Silvia A. Centeno, Menahem Schmelzer, David Kraemer, Evelyn M. Cohen and Naomi M. Steinberger
More Information
Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: €€€ (3,000€ - 7,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
  1. Matching Works
  2. Matching Background Articles

Matching Works

Gradual of St. Katharinenthal

Gradual of St. Katharinenthal

Magnificent miniatures on a golden background: one of the most beautiful Gothic manuscripts was used as a large choir book until the 19th century

Experience More
Pannonhalmi Evangelistarium

Pannonhalmi Evangelistarium

A masterpiece from Hungary: the great artistic styles of the Late Middle Ages united in a single codex

Experience More

Matching Background Articles

Publisher