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  (XI) Obj. ID: 33195 The Desert Dead (מתי מדבר),Illustration in Chayin Nachman Bialik Jubilee Edition of Works, Chovevey ha-Safa ha-Ivrit (Lovers of the Hebrew Language), Berlin, 1923, Unknown, 1923. // Budko, Joseph (painter, 1888-1940) edit  
Category: Modern Jewish Art


2 Name/Title The Desert Dead (מתי מדבר) | Unknown
3a Object Woodcut
Illustration
3b Object Detail Illustration in Chayin Nachman Bialik Jubilee Edition of Works, Chovevey ha-Safa ha-Ivrit (Lovers of the Hebrew Language), Berlin, 1923
4a Artist/ Maker Budko, Joseph (painter, 1888-1940) (Unknown)
5 Date 1923
6 Period Unknown
6a Period Detail
7 Origin Unknown |
8 Community Unknown |
9 Collection Unknown |
9a Documentation Unknown |
10 Location Unknown |
11 Site Unknown
12 School/Style Unknown|
13 Iconographical Subject Unknown |
14 Category
17 Photographer Unknown
18 Photograph Date
19 Negative/ Photo. No.
19 Remarks
20 Description

The following description was written by the researcher Alec Mishory.

In 1902, Bialik wrote The Desert Dead (Metey Midbar). The poem speaks of Jewish national revival. It embodies the sharp contradictions of early Zionist nationalism and calls for the mobilization of the dead giants of Jewish history, while expressing contempt for the God of the Israelites.

Budko's inspirational sources for this illustration were first, Bialik's descriptions that are extremely visually detailed. The poet describes the heroes thus:

Their heavy, wild nurtured heads fell to the ground, the hair of their curls dragged and looks like a lion's mane;
… the clefts of their poked faces and the groups of exposed chests … 
their tangled eyebrows show their terrifying anxieties, the ends of their beards swirl like a group of snakes…

The heroes' weapons are 

"…Flint stone swords under their heads, their spears next to their broad shoulders, their arrow pouches
tied to their belts, their lances stuck in the sand".

Budko's illustration for the poem is a masterpiece of virtuosity as a printmaker. He created a monumental work in spite of its small-scale format. The artist divided the image into two contrasting horizontal areas: the lower one is especially dark and full of commotion; Black vertical and diagonal lines varying in width cross the top gray upper area. The entire lower part is inhabited with (at least six) male heads with curly beards (it is possible to notice them more clearly by looking at the woodcut counterclockwise, turning the image in a 90-degree angle). Their mouths are open and reveal rows of teeth. All eyes are closed. Such a depiction of facial features conveys a sensation of deep human suffering.

Budko's illustration places us inside the pile of human heads. Such a vantage point turns us into participants, not merely spectators. We seem to be a part of the Desert Dead or, rather, we too are the desert dead and thus, our identification with the verses of the poem receives a completely different aspect. The artist makes us look at the lances from a vantage point similar to that of the heroes as if we were lying next to them. The lances pierce the pile of human heads into the gray sky area that suggests, perhaps, the light of dawn. Three triangular shapes rise above the ground; they suggest the presence of pyramids. It is interesting to note that of all weapons mentioned by the poem's verses such as stone swords, lances, arrow pouches, and spears, the lance whetted Budko's imagination and made him use it as a component for a dynamic composition.

 Bialik's poem describes the sudden appearance of a lion, a snake and an eagle on the scene, as means for contrasting the momentary with the eternal; the animals look at the heroes lying on the desert ground, and then they turn around and leave the scene. In contrast, the heroes "… Those mighty would lie there and jubilees upon jubilees would pass". Budko was intrigued by this part of the poem; a visual rendering of the animals would have turned the allegorical-symbolic aspects of Bialik's poem into a mere narrative. Consequently, he preferred to focus on the eternal rather than on the temporal and refrained from showing the animals in his illustration.

See also Jan's illustrations to "The Desert Dead" Metey Midbar).

 


More Details...
 
21 Ornamentation
22 Custom
23 Contents
24 Codicology
24a Scribes
24b Script
24c Number of Lines
24d Ruling
24e Pricking
24f Quires
24g Catchwords
24h Hebrew Numeration
24i Blank Leaves

25 Material/Technique
25a Material Structure
25b Material Decoration
25c Material Bonding
25d Material Inscription
25e Material Additions
25f Material Cloth
25g Material Lining
25h Tesserae Arrangement
25i Density
25j Colors

26 Measurements
26a Height 16.4 cm
26b Length
26c Width 12 cm
26d Depth
26e Circumference
26f Thickness
26g Diameter
26h Weight
26i Axis
26j Panel Measurements
27 Direction/Location
27a Façade (main)
27b Entrances
27c Location of Torah Ark
27d Location of Apse
27e Location of Niche
27f Location of Reader's Desk
27g Location of Platform
27h Temp: Architecture Axis
27i< Arrangement of Seats
27j Location of Women's Section
27k Direction Prayer
27l Direction Toward Jerusalem

28 Coin
28a Coin Series
28b Coin Ruler
28c Coin Year
28d Denomination

29 Signature
30 Colophon
31 Scribal Notes
32 Watermark
33 Hallmark
33a Group
33b Subgroup
33c Hallmark Identification
33d Hallmark Group Classification
33e Hallmark Reference
34 Trade Mark
35 Binding
36 Decoration Program
36 Summary and Remarks
38 Suggested Reconstruction
39 History/Provenance
40 Main Surveys & Excavations
41 Condition
42 Biography
43 Bibliography
43a Short Name
43b Full Name
43c Volume
43d Page

44 Type
45 Temp: Batch Number
|
46 Temp: Aleph Number
47 Temp: Sys. Number / Doc. Name
33195
48 Temp: Addenda
OVRPO=ntl%3Atrue%2Cntl_localname%3Atrue%2Csubject%3A%2Csubject_detail%3A%2Cobject%3Atrue%2Cobject_detail%3A%2Cmaker_profession%3Atrue%2Cmaker_name%3Atrue%2Cmaker_detail%3Atrue%2Cdate%3Atrue%2Cperiod%3Atrue%2Cperiod_detail%3Atrue%2Cphotographer%3A%2Cphoto_date%3A%2Cphotographer_copyright%3A%2Corigin%3Atrue%2Corigin_detail%3Atrue%2Chistorical_origin%3Atrue%2Cschool%3Atrue%2Cschool_detail%3Atrue%2Ccommunity%3Atrue%2Ccommunity_detail%3Atrue%2Ccollection%3Atrue%2Ccollection_detail%3Atrue%2Ccopyright%3Atrue%2Csite%3Atrue%2Csite_detail%3Atrue%2Clocation%3Atrue%2Clocation_detail%3Atrue%2Cdescription%3A%2C&

Registrar
Function: Name: Date:
49 Documenter 49a
50 Researcher 50a
51 Architectural Drawings 51a
52 Computer Reconstruction 52a
53 Section Head 53a
54 Editor 54a
55 Donor 55a

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Object's images (1 image(s))

     

(XXII) ID: 310046 The Desert Dead (מתי מדבר), Illustration in Chayin Nachman Bialik Jubilee Edition of Works, Chovevey ha-Safa ha-Ivrit (Lovers of the Hebrew Language), Berlin, 1923, Unknown, 1923 edit
Category: Modern Jewish Art
ID: 310046 The Desert Dead (מתי מדבר), Illustration in Chayin Nachman Bialik Jubilee Edition of Works, Chovevey ha-Safa ha-Ivrit (Lovers of the Hebrew Language), Berlin, 1923, Unknown, 1923 edit  
Category: Modern Jewish Art

General Document


2 Name/Title The Desert Dead (מתי מדבר) | Unknown
3a Object Woodcut
Illustration
3b Object Detail Illustration in Chayin Nachman Bialik Jubilee Edition of Works, Chovevey ha-Safa ha-Ivrit (Lovers of the Hebrew Language), Berlin, 1923
4a Artist/ Maker Budko, Joseph (painter, 1888-1940) (Unknown)
5 Date 1923
6 Period Unknown
7 Origin Unknown |
8 Community Unknown |
9 Collection Unknown |
10 Location Unknown |
11 Site Unknown
12 School/Style Unknown|
13 Iconographical Subject Unknown |
14 Category
17 Photographer Unknown
18 Photograph Date
19 Negative/ Photo. No.
19a Scan No. S302800
20 Description
21 Ornamentation
 
21 Ornamentation
22 Custom
23 Contents
24 Codicology
24a Scribes
24b Script
24c Number of Lines
24d Ruling
24e Pricking
24f Quires
24g Catchwords
24h Hebrew Numeration
24i Blank Leaves

25 Material/Technique
25a Material Structure
25b Material Decoration
25c Material Bonding
25d Material Inscription
25e Material Additions
25f Material Cloth
25g Material Lining
25h Tesserae Arrangement
25i Density
25j Colors

26 Measurements
26a Height 16.4 cm
26b Length
26c Width 12 cm
26d Depth
26e Circumference
26f Thickness
26g Diameter
26h Weight
26i Axis
26j Panel Measurements
27 Direction/Location
27a Façade (main)
27b Entrances
27c Location of Torah Ark
27d Location of Apse
27e Location of Niche
27f Location of Reader's Desk
27g Location of Platform
27h Temp: Architecture Axis
27i< Arrangement of Seats
27j Location of Women's Section
27k Direction Prayer
27l Direction Toward Jerusalem

28 Coin
28a Coin Series
28b Coin Ruler
28c Coin Year
28d Denomination

29 Signature
30 Colophon
31 Scribal Notes
32 Watermark
33 Hallmark
33a Group
33b Subgroup
33c Hallmark Identification
33d Hallmark Group Classification
33e Hallmark Reference
34 Trade Mark
35 Binding
36 Decoration Program
36 Summary and Remarks
38 Suggested Reconstruction
39 History/Provenance
40 Main Surveys & Excavations
41 Condition
42 Biography
43 Bibliography
43a Short Name
43b Full Name
43c Volume
43d Page

44 Type
45 Temp: Batch Number
|
46 Temp: Aleph Number
47 Temp: Sys. Number / Doc. Name
310046
48 Temp: Addenda

Registrar
Function: Name: Date:
49 Documenter 49a
50 Researcher 50a
51 Architectural Drawings 51a
52 Computer Reconstruction 52a
53 Section Head 53a
54 Editor 54a
55 Donor 55a