Ilia Rodov. Winged Image of the Divine: A Comparative Note on Catholic, Orthodox, and Jewish Art in Early Modern Ukraine

Winged Image of the Divine: A Comparative Note on Catholic, Orthodox, and Jewish Art in Early Modern Ukraine

By Ilia Rodov

(Bar-Ilan University )

Source: Judaica Ukrainica 3 (2014): 105-127

Publication date: December 1, 2014

Publication type: article

Language: English

Full text:

 

Abstract

The Ukrainians and Jews transmitted their ideas of divine intervention in similar fashion through a visual model that represented – symbolically or figuratively – the celestial patron as if He were physically protecting the people under His outstretched limbs. The metaphor was derived from Exodus 19:4 and Deuteronomy 32:11, and the iconography was adopted from the art of the two empires flanking Ukrainian lands: the Holy Roman Empire of the Habsburgs and the Muscovite Tsardom. Christian and Jewish artists similarly rendered the symbolic eagle as double-headed. The ideologically charged symbol encouraged the Ukrainians during their struggle for dominance over the Greek Orthodox Church in their lands. This article interprets the aviamorphic symbol of divine providence in synagogue art as a sublimation of the traumatic Jewish experience of the Khmelnytsky massacres.

 

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DOI 10.14653/ju.2014.06