The collector Yohanan Ben David left his art collection to the Israel Museum and his manuscript collection to the National Library of Israel. The latter bequest formed the core of the Library’s Islamic manuscript collection. Despite his considerable stature in the art world, he is largely unfamiliar to the general public. Here we take a look at the life of this enigmatic collector.
A manuscript attributed to the famous 11th-century Persian physician and philosopher Ibn Sina has created a scholarly stir regarding its dating. Is it contemporary with the author? If so, this would make it an important and reliable copy. Or was it copied a few hundred years after his death? There was only one way to find out…
Medieval Barcelona was a unique meeting spot of Eastern and Western culture. A place where Jews, Muslims and Christians could mix. It was in Barcelona that the “first Jewish scientist” and one of the great Christian translators of the day conceived an ambitious plan to bring the wisdom of the Islamic and ancient worlds to an awakening Europe
The hajj pilgrimage is a life-shaping experience for millions of Muslims around the world. It culminates with the arrival at the Holy Mosque in Mecca. These manuscripts from the collections of the National Library of Israel depict the Islamic holy sites in Mecca and Medina in colorful illustrations, an artistic expression of faith that continues to evolve…
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