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Obj. ID: 33047
Modern Jewish Art
  Joseph Budko,Illustration for Bialik's poem "Splendor" (Zohar), 1923

© , Photographer: Unknown,

The following description was written by the researcher Alec Mishory.

At an extremely young age Chaim Nachman Bialik was forced to attend a religious school; the years he spent in this institution were a traumatic ordeal for him, an experience that followed him for many years. Splendor is one of his symbolist poems. It relates to the poet's childhood and adolescent loneliness and of his only consolation in escaping home, going to nature. His escapades bring him to a pond in which he beholds a topsy-turvy world, full of shining rays of light, hidden, mystical treasures and sheer happiness.

Budko's masterpiece illustration gives the impression of dazzling light with such an intensity that might cause temporary blindness. A series of rooftops appears at the bottom of the print.  A boy, with his back towards us, floats in mid-air on top of them. He stretches his hands to the side, in a gesture that conveys amazement, awe, and acceptance. An open book floats in the air, apparently after it dropped from the boy's left hand. His face lifts up. From the blinding light background, he beholds a dynamic scene with a group of abstract forms that look, perhaps, like clouds. The artist   composed a moment of revelation; it is manifested in the boy's gesture of acceptance-wonder; the symbolic aspect of such a human gesture suggests a complete acceptance or even, perhaps, surrender, to a mighty force that is in front of the boy, as well as to wonder while sensing the experience it provokes in him. Throughout the history of art, this gesture of wonderment and acceptance is manifested in various depictions of the mystical epiphanies experienced by Saints.  Budko's illustration expresses the speaker's moment of revelation and a spiritual uplifting.

Summary and Remarks

1 image(s)

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Name/Title
Splendor (Zohar זהר) | Unknown
Object Detail
From H. N. Bialik, Jubilee Edition of his Works (Berlin: Hovevey haSafa haIvrit Publication, 1923)
Monument Setting
Unknown
Date
1923
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Budko, Joseph (1888-1940, painter)
{"50":"Josef Budko was born in Plonesk, Poland and studied in Berlin with the Jewish painter and Graphic designer, Hermann Struck. In 1933 he immigrated to Israel with Mordecai Ardon and Yaacov Shtainheart. Two years later, with the opening of the \u201cNew Bezalel\u201d school in Jerusalem, he became the head of the institution, a position he held till his death in 1940."}
Historical Origin
Unknown
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Site
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Documentation / Research project
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Iconographical Subject
B | Boy
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Textual Content
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Height
6 cm
Length
5.5 cm
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Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
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Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
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0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
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Script
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Pricking
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Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
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Location of Torah Ark
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The following information on this monument will be completed:
Unknown |