Object Alone

Obj. ID: 38109
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts
  IM Aryeh Leib ben Daniel of Goray Sepia Esther Scroll, Italy (?), 1740s

© Dagmara Budzioch, Photographer: Budzioch, Dagmara, 05.2015

The scroll is not signed but its ornamentation executed solely in sepia ink resembles the style of the megillot Esther made by the scribe-artist Aryeh Leib son of Daniel of Goray (Pol. Goraj), Poland. The upper margins are lavishly decorated with rectangles with shorter concave sides containing narrative scenes reflecting the Purim story; they are also captioned in semi-cursive Hebrew script. They are separated by repeating decorations composed of a lion and leafy tendrils with flowers and fruits; they are placed exactly above full-figure representations of the heroes separating the rectangular text panels. The full-length figures of the Esther story protagonists standing in the niches that are also identified by their names inscribed in the same type of Hebrew script as above. The spaces below them are adorned with medallions containing the busts of the minor characters of the Esther story identified by their names written also in a semi-cursive Hebrew script. They are flanked by floral motif and birds facing back. The background behind the decorative details along all membranes is filled with a repeating composition of leafy tendrils and fruits. Additionally, the hand-drawn imitation of the cross-hatching fills the background in the upper margins and behind the lions in the lower margins. The busts, figures between the text panels, and the narrative scenes are shown against a dark background.

The scroll is mounted on a wooden turned roller.

Summary and Remarks

Every word המלך at the head of the column is decorated.

It seems that both - the ornamentation and text - were executed in the same ink.

The scroll was exhibited on "The Stieglitz Collection: Masterpieces of Jewish Art, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 30th November 1987 - 21st April 1987".


16 image(s)

sub-set tree:

IM Aryeh Leib ben Daniel of Goray Sepia Esther Scroll | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Aryeh Leib ben Daniel of Goray (Goraj)

{"2313":"Aryeh Leib ben Daniel of Goray (18th century, dates of life unknown) was a prolific artist and scribe who used to include scribal notes in the manuscripts and due to them, some stages of his career can be traced. The earliest evidence of his artistic activity is proved by the scrolls dated to 1732 and 1733 created when he still was in Goray (Pol. Goraj, Poland), his hometown. Around 1737 his presence and activity are testified in Germany and in the 1740s in Italy. Here he executed at least four examples of the decorated scrolls and in some other adorned with printed frames designed by Francesco Griselini (see \"Griselini scrolls\" in the Index) he copied the text of Megillah. The latest manuscript including Aryeh Leib's colophon is dated to 1755 and was written in France. The scrolls created over 20 years of his activity as an artist and a scribe show that his style developed and transformed from the manuscripts painted in multicolored and delicate water paints to these decorated solely in a pen and brown ink that feature his mature style. So far, no manuscripts - other than Esther scrolls - produced by him have been found."}
| (?)
Historical Origin
Community type
Unknown |
Unknown |
Period Detail
Israel | Jerusalem | Israel Museum (IM)
| MS 182/175 (B86.0274)
Documentation / Research project
Textual Content
Unknown |
Languages of inscription
Shape / Form
Material / Technique
Ink on parchment + wood
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Construction material
The scroll: ca. 210x1820 mm.
Dimensions of the selected details in the scroll:
- upper margins: 38 mm;
- lower margins: 23 mm;
- text panel (inside): 140x115 mm;
- frames in the lower margins: 35x85 mm;
- heroes of the Purim story: ca. 90 mm (height);
- depiction of the gallows in col. 10: 45x100 mm;
- spaces between the lines: 2 mm.

The roller: 375 mm (height).
Panel Measurements

In general, the scroll is in good condition but there are some damages to it.

On the blank side of the first sheet, there is a quite large pink stain and a parchment "patch" glued on the membrane. There is a hole in the membrane.

The text is well preserved.

On the second sheet, the illustrations are slightly faded and their captions are barely visible.

Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating

The Book of Esther in Hebrew


The scroll is formed of 3 sheets, containing in total 12 columns of the text of 30 lines each. Col. 10 includes 11 lines divided into two half-columns.

Every membrane includes 4 columns of text.

The text is written in Hebrew square script in brown ink on the flesh side of the parchment membranes of medium thickness and stiffness. The side of the text is brighter and matte, while the blank side is more yellow and smooth.

The letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) are enlarged. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 10.

The text includes numerous elongated and shortened letters.

All letters ח in the scroll are written as composed of two parts.

Only very few corrections can be found in the text.

The membranes in the scroll are stitched together.

The ruling is invisible.

Some small holes can be seen on the bent edges of membranes.

Number of Lines
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Façade (main)
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year


Scribal Notes
Trade Mark
Decoration Program
Suggested Reconsdivuction

The scroll from the Stieglitz Collection that was donated to the Museum with the contribution of Erica and Ludwig Jesselson, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum.

Main Surveys & Excavations

Chaya Benjamin, The Stieglitz Collection: Masterpieces of Jewish Art, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem 1987.

The Jewish World 365 Days, from the Collections of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem - New York 2004.

The link to the Museum's website: https://www.imj.org.il/en/collections/397972 (accessed on 03.06.2021).

Bibliography on other scrolls made by Aryeh Leib ben Daniel of Goray or attributed to him:

Dagmara Budzioch, The Decorated Esther Scrolls from the Museum of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw and the Tradition of Megillot Esther Decoration in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries – An Outline [Polish: Dekorowane zwoje Estery z Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego w Warszawie na tle tradycji dekorowania megilot Ester w XVII i XVIII wieku. Zarys problematyki], Warsaw 2019, 1:206-215.

Ernest Namenyi, "The Illumination of Hebrew Manuscripts after the Invention of Printing," in Cecil Roth (ed.), Jewish Art, an Illustrated History (London, 1961), col. 435.

Mendel Metzger, The Earliest Engraved Italian Megilloth, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 1966, 48/2, esp. 409, 422-425.

Olga Sixtova, O svitku / Form of the Scroll [katalog k výstavě konané v Galerii Roberta Guttmanna Židovského muzea v Praze od 22. června do 26. července 2006], Prag 2006, 32-33.

A Journey through Jewish Worlds: Highlights from the Braginsky Collection of Hebrew Manuscripts and Printed Books, eds. Evelyn M. Cohen, Emile Schrijver, Sharon Liberman Mintz, Amsterdam 2009, 246-249.

Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, eds. Emile Schrijver, Falk Wiesemann, Evelyn M. Cohen, Sharon Liberman Mintz, Menahem Schmeltzer, Zurich 2011, 266-269.

A Fine Illustrated Esther Scroll, [ca. 1740], lot 105, Sotheby's New York Important Judaica, 20 December 2017 https://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/lot.105.html/2017/important-judaica-n09687 (accessed on 31.07.2020).

A Magnificent Esther Scroll Written and illustrated Aryeh Leib ben Daniel of Goray, Schwelm, 1737, lot 187, Sotheby's New York Important Judaica Including Property from the Estate of Shlomo Moussaieff, 15 December 2016 https://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2016/important-judaica-n09589/lot.187.html (accessed on 31.07.2020).

Dagmara Budzioch | 2021
Author of description
Dagmara Budzioch | 2021
Architectural Drawings
Computer Reconstruction
Section Head
Language Editor
Negative/Photo. No.
The following information on this monument will be completed:
Unknown |