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Gallery: Judaica
Year: 1985
Original Media: color pencil and watercolor on archival paper
Description:
The Jewish holiday of Purim, celebrated on the 14th day of Adar, according to the Hebrew calendar, is a time of miracles, marked by merrymaking and masquerade. Among several traditions, the public reading of the Megillah, or The Book Of Esther, is made meaningful by costumes representing characters in the story and by the custom of mi'shloach manot or the giving of food to spread the joy of the holiday. Though the story includes several important characters, 'The Purim Players' is my interpretation for three of the central characters in the old story. The masked young woman in the image represents Esther, a beautiful Jewish orphan who became Queen to King Ahashverus of Persia and later the mother of Cyrus, the Persian king under whose reign the Jewish population flourished. Haman, the King's evil advisor, is represented here by two 'groggers' or noisemakers held by the young boy in the curly bearded mask of King Ahashverus. These devices, modeled after artifacts from medieval Germany are shaken or rattled each time the name of Haman is read in the story to drown out his name and the memory of his evil machinations to destroy the Jews of Persia. The Hebrew script on them translates as 'curse Haman'. Esther holds a silver dish containing the gifts of food for the holiday. The dish is in the shape of a fish to represent the astrological sign of Pisces and also the month of Adar.

 DescriptionSizePrice
GicleƩ prints on archival paper
26.00 x 33.50  
500.00
GicleƩ prints on archival paper
13.00 x 16.75  
300.00
The Purim Players


@ Ilene Winn-Lederer 1985