The Development of Jewish Art
There is a great misconception on the topic of "Jewish Art". There are those that believe that Jewish Art does not exist because it goes against their very strong religious beliefs. You may not carve images or create images of heaven or earth because it goes against the Ten Commandments : "Thou shall not make for yourself a carved image -- any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth." Is Jewish art really forbidden?
The forbiddance of creating art can be a sorely misinterpreted understanding of the 10 Commandments. As interpreted in a difference sense, it's believed that what the 10 Commandments is stating is that one could not create an image in the likeness, whether it is a sculpture, a figure or an idol and bow to this creation. This does not mean art cannot be created.
Throughout history, Jewish people have created many forms of beautiful artwork that have appeared on synagogue walls and in sacred books. Artwork of man and animal shapes and figurines such have been found in more than one occasion in the Talmud . Rabbis have also permitted paintings within the synagogues even though there have been some oppositions.
Jewish Art has certainly throughout many years and is spreading in many forms such as synagogues, religious books and in people's homes, mainly in form of Judaic art.
Jewish artwork has revived biblical stories by creating drawings and relief work dedicated to many significant historical and/or mythical events such as the creation of the world as described in the book of Genesis
Before the Jewish Emancipation and the Enlightenment movement, Jewish artists have specialized in portraits. In the middle 19th century Jewish artistssuch as Pissarro, and Liberman have gained worldwide recognition for their artistry.
Due to a strong Jewish artistic influence in culture, scholars try to define just what Jewish art is. Perhaps it is deemed that any artist who is Jewish and deals with Jewish themes would be considered Jewish artwork.
Whether related to heritage or religious foundation, there are many talented, inspirational and fine craftsmanship being created and welcomed around the world. Is there a nurturing from the 3000 years of the Jewish foundation playing a huge role in this artwork? It could well be, but many cultures have sprung many important artists that are influenced by their particular religious beliefs and their lives. Art plays an enormous and very important part in human history and should be recognized and revered.