Graduate Work-in-Progress - Idol Viewing & Idle Viewing: Exploring Erasures in the Munich Rashi

Color image of ancient hebrew text including drawing and letters
Febraury 16, 2023 - 4:30 PM


One of the earliest extant illuminated Hebrew manuscripts from Europe is the so-called Munich Rashi (Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Cod. Hebr. 5/I-II), the biblical commentary that was copied in Germany in the 1230s for a wealthy Jewish patron. The commentary has an incomplete image cycle and several of its surviving paintings have been partially erased. In her lecture Reed O’Mara, PhD candidate in the Department of Art History and Art, considers two of the images—three Jewish patriarchs speaking to God and Nebuchadnezzar’s golden idol—in dialogue, and addresses how the erasures may have affected medieval viewers and their perception of both the divine and images of the divine.