This week, in honor of all the recent Jewish holidays, we chose to highlight a rare and beautiful antique Bezalel rug from Jerusalem Israel
Antique Bezalel Rug from Jerusalem Israel #8514
Early 20th Century, approximately 1910
Size: 4 ft 9 in x 7 ft 9 in (1.45 m x 2.36 m)
This exceptionally beautiful antique carpet was woven at the renowned Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem, Israel. The school was established in 1906 by Latvian sculptor Boris Schatz in conjunction with the Zionist pioneer Theodor Herzl, and it is still in operation to this day.
“Bezalel” was the biblical name of the “Artist” who designed the Ark and the sanctuary built by Israelites following the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt.
Schatz later wrote of his meeting with the iconic Herzl :
“And after I had finished speaking and wondered with beating heart: What answer will he give me? ‘Good, we shall do that,’ he said quietly and resolutely. And after a brief pause he asked: ‘What name will you give to your school?’ ‘Bezalel,’ I answered, ‘after the name of the first Jewish artist who once built us a temple in the wilderness.’”
(Schatz, Boris, “The Bezalel Institute,” in Israel Cohen (ed), Zionist Work in Palestine: London & Leipzig, 1911, p. 64.)
The purpose of the Bezalel art school and workshop was to provide a unique educational institution, in what was then British-ruled Palestine, for those Jewish students who had recently immigrated to Palestine and wanted a means to express outstanding and distinctively Jewish art.
The rug weaving program, though small in the number of participating art students, resulted in the creation of what many have come to see as some of the most beautiful and artistic rugs to have been created.
This particular lovely and impressive Antique Bezalel Rug combines the feeling and skills of the Bezalel designers and weavers with their European as well as Oriental heritage. This rug showcases the Jewish, European, Oriental, Persian, Art Nouveau and neo-medieval spectacular designs with their swaying floral forms that beautify with their flow and colors.
While not overtly Jewish in design elements, if you look closely, you will start to see many motifs of Jewish significance such as: the Start of David, the Jewish Menorah and others.
A truly remarkable work of art, from one of the most iconic art schools in the world, this piece will be a great addition to any home decor or Judaica collection.