What are Judaism Art and its Development
Judaism Art and Second commandment
Judaism is a religion that has had a very close relationship with art. The religion also has a commandment, popularly known as the Second commandment. This particular command or rule has been very detrimental and contrary to the development of art in the Jewish culture from time to time, whenever Jewish clergy in any region got orthodox. The commandment states that “You shall not make yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth”. Time and again, this commandment has been taken to its literal word and not for its essence. It meant that the idols of god must never be created, which used to be a common practice among the people who lived in the region of Israel.
Start of Art in Jewish Culture
Where the second commandment proved to be hindering the growth of art, the Midrash literature also proved quite the ignitor to the evolution of painting, sculpture and craft in the Jewish community. The Midrash literature dealt with the question that, how could a human glorify the lord by his deeds. This question led to the creation of Judaica. Judaica is a collective term used for the ornament, objects and at times artistic texts used during the Jewish religious ceremonies. The practice of glorifying the words, commands, and rituals of the lord is ancient and popular among Jewish households. This one practice led to the development of the art and sculpture as that can never have been precedented, especially after the presence of the second commandment. The art that prospered the most by this practice was of metalworking. This was because most of the ornaments and utensils used in the rituals had artworks carved, sculpted or cut-out of metal.
Ancient Judaism Art
The Midrash literature also bound Jewish art to the Divine, and this later led to art being the perfect representations of the common masses with the lord almighty. Judaism Art started with the artistic representation of religious text. There have been instances when synagogues of 3rd century BCE have been found with murals, paintings used for decoration. As mentioned the art then progressed to the objects related to the religious ceremonies and rituals.
Judaism Art in the Middle Ages
Judaism art during the middle ages came in contact with the Islamic culture. The mixing of the two religions had a lot of influence on Judaism art. The window panels, ornaments used in the synagogues during this period clearly shows the presence of the carvings having styles similar to Islamic architecture. The diaspora developed their own styles and patterns of art during the period leading up to the renaissance period.
During the renaissance period, the Jewish artist came in contact with the European artists. The style that was commonly used in Europe can be very clearly seen in the works created by Jewish artists leading up to the 20th century. The Jewish artist experimented with the religious scenes with the European settings and style. This period of Judaism, art became really famous and was extensively studied.
With the advent of the 20th century, the Bezalel School changed things. The formation of the state of Israel added a new chapter to Judaism art, which was the Israeli art. The abstract expressionism and modern art entered the hall of tradition, and Jewish artists experimented with the combination of both. The atrocities inflicted on them during the holocaust also became quite evident in this latest chapter of Judaism art.