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        Frontispiece of Book Twelve ?The Book of Donations and Acquisitions? of the Mishneh Torah of Maimonides with a miniature that depicts Moses delivering the Tablets of the Law to the people of Israel

        French School, (13th century); French. Medium: vellum. Date: 1295-96. Codex Maimuni Ms Kaufmann A 77 fol.IV.32 - the miniature illustrates a legend concerning the Biblical text: God uprooted Mount Sinai and placed it upside down, like an inverted basket, over the Israelites, in order to force them to accept the Law with its onerous obligations. The illustration shows Moses displaying the tablets of the Law to the Israelites, whose heads appear inside an opening in the mountain. This manuscript of the Mishneh Torah is considered a masterpiece of mediaeval Hebrew art on account of its decorations and illustrations; made in North-Eastern France, the scribe was Nathan bar Simeon ha-Levi but the artist responsible for the illuminated miniatures was probably a Christian; the Mishneh Torah is a code of Jewish religious law (Halakha) written by Maimonides (1135-1204); Provenance: Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest. Photographic Rights The Bridgeman Art Library.


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