Rabbi Mordecai Dato (1525? - 1593?)
The lavish decoration of this printed and hand-painted ketubah attests to the high esteem in which this art form was held by the wealthy Sephardim living in the Venice ghetto. The text in this document is divided in two sections, the ketubah proper at the right and the conditions at the left, set within a double arch. The side columns feature additional wedding scenes inspired by Jewish texts. The association between the ideals of marriage from the past with Jewish life in contemporary Italy is further illustrated in the six vignettes that surround the central area containing the emblem of the bridegroom's family, De Almeda. The frame enclosing the text is dominated by painted Signs of the Zodiac interspersed with plaques containing a wedding poem by the Italian poet and kabbalist, Rabbi Mordecai Dato (1525?-1593?). At the four corners are elaborate geometric designs inscribed with miniscule square writing, which, together with the inscriptions along the frame, present the entire book of the Song of Songs. This border was so admired that it was later imitated throughout the Veneto.
Online Since: 12/20/2016
- Rabbi Mordecai Dato (Author)