Demonstrating that similarities between Jewish and Christian art
in the Middle Ages were more than coincidental, Cultural
Exchange meticulously combines a wide range of sources to show
how Jews and Christians exchanged artistic and material culture.
Joseph Shatzmiller focuses on communities in northern Europe,
Iberia, and other Mediterranean societies where Jews and Christians
coexisted for centuries, and he synthesizes the most current
research to describe the daily encounters that enabled both
societies to appreciate common artistic values.
Detailing the transmission of cultural sensibilities in the
medieval money market and the world of Jewish money lenders, this
book examines objects pawned by peasants and humble citizens,
sacred relics exchanged by the clergy as security for loans, and
aesthetic goods given up by the Christian well-to-do who required
financial assistance. The work also explores frescoes and
decorations likely painted by non-Jews in medieval and early modern
Jewish homes located in Germanic lands, and the ways in which Jews
hired Christian artists and craftsmen to decorate Hebrew prayer
books and create liturgical objects. Conversely, Christians
frequently hired Jewish craftsmen to produce liturgical objects
used in Christian churches.
With rich archival documentation, Cultural Exchange
sheds light on the social and economic history of the creation of
Jewish and Christian art, and expands the general understanding of
cultural exchange in brand-new ways.
Subjects: History, Art & Art History, Sociology, Religion
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