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Description : The Holy Land has captures the attention of mankind since the very beginning of human civilization, and even more so from the early days of Christianity. Nineteenth-century Palestine fired the imagination of the Western world. Improved travel facilities and greater political stability in the Near Easst brought ever-increasing numbers of visitors to the Holy Land, affecting the quantity and quality of the pictorial depictions of its sites and scenes. Like other countries in the exotic Muslim East, Palestine also became a point of focal interest for painters of the Orientalist school. The author has assembled a fascinating collection of unique works of art, executed in the diverse styles of nineteenth-century painting. Around these reproductions, many of them in colour, he reconstructs the story of the artists who produced them, who came from many European countries and from North America. The result is an important and unique perspective on the sites, persons, events and customs of the Holy Land in that century.
Description : In the absence of the bodies of Christ and Mary, architecture took on a special representational role during the Christian Middle Ages, marking out sites associated with the bodily presence of the dominant figures of the religion. Throughout this period, buildings were reinterpreted in relation to the mediating role of textual and pictorial representations that shaped the pilgrimage experience across expansive geographies. In this study, Kathryn Blair Moore challenges fundamental ideas within architectural history regarding the origins and significance of European recreations of buildings in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazareth. From these conceptual foundations, she traces and re-interprets the significance of the architecture of the Holy Land within changing religious and political contexts, from the First Crusade and the emergence of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land to the anti-Islamic crusade movements of the Renaissance, as well as the Reformation.
Description : At a garage sale in Minnesota in 1989, a young American photographer, John Barnier, bought eight wooden crates containing over 130 glass plate negatives. Realizing that many of the negatives were of Jerusalem, he brought them to the Harvard Semitic Museum where they were eventually identified as the long-lost work of Mendel John Diness, who lived in Jerusalem in the 1850s and was the first photographer to learn--and practice--the art there. Until a decade ago Diness did not even appear in the annals of photography. It was Dror Wahrman, an Israeli historian, who discovered that Diness was a Russian Jewish watchmaker who arrived in Jerusalem in 1848 to pursue rabbinical studies. A year later he converted and his baptism by the Anglican bishop caused near-riots in the city's Jewish community. Having lost his Jewish clients, Diness supported his family by learning photography and eventually became the Holy City's first commercial photographer. This volume traces Diness' role in the history of photography and his life in Jerusalem and subsequently in the United States. From the uncovered negatives, 60 platinum prints were developed showing with utmost clarity rare views of Jerusalem and environs. Other photographs, lent by Diness' descendants, enhance this most unusual tale.