Page 86 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 5 (1946-1947)

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
74
court and travelled to the East, to Tiberias, where he hoped to
build again the destroyed community of Israel in the Holy Land.
Undoubtedly, the picture of the Lady Donna Grazia Mendesia
and that of the death-bed scene of the old Shylock blessing his
grandchildren are the ones that will leave a lasting impression
upon the observer.
The magnificent novels woven about the life of Joseph and his
brothers, written by Thomas Mann, will soon be published and
will also be illustrated by Szyk.
Among the books of Jewish interest that Szyk has illustrated
and that have been enriched by his unique creative art are the
Book of Job
and
Jacob's Well.
He has illuminated such documents
as the
Statute of Kalish
and the
Balfour Declaration.
These are but
a few Jewish volumes and documents that will forever be associ-
ated with the name of Szyk.
Szyk’s pictures of intricate design, embody more than what
appears in them at the first viewing. One must study each picture
carefully, and gradually it begins to reveal its hidden secrets.
The eye catches something it had not seen before — a detail, a
design, a nuance — and gradually, the whole begins to take on
new light and life. One never wearies of looking at a Szyk picture,
one always finds something new, complicities that he had not seen
before. Szyk is master of a mysterious process of self-revelation
through his pictures, and this continuous process of self-revelation
holds in it unending surprise and delight for the observer.
BIBLE PICTURES
Szyk has recently illustrated
Pathways Through the Bible
, by
the writer of this article, published by the Jewish Publication
Society of America. These twenty-five pictures are mainly por-
traits of the characters in the Bible story. These pictures he
dedicated to the memory of his mother, Sophia Szyk, who was
burned to death in Maidanek, as “ an eternal !Caddish.”
From these Bible pictures are gone the old themes of war and
violence that earlier Christian artists loved to paint. Themselves
lovers of the resplendent armor of the warrior, and themselves
admirers of the military hero, many of these Bible artists of the
past naturally gravitated to the war scenes described in the
ancient text. Furthermore, as artists they were interested in
pictures of action, for they were easily dramatized and could tell
a captivating tale.
Unfortunately, such pictures created in the minds of multitudes
that the
Tanah
was a book of violence, that the ancient Israelites