Jerusalem: Avner Moriah, 2017. Limited first edition. Hardcover. 1/100. Oblong Folio. 15x21.5". Beige clamshell box. Illustrated ceramic tile with gilt overlays and gold-brown lettering, mounted in a debossed cutout on the front cover. The box houses an illustrated leporello of the Book of Esther. This "Ganze Megilah", contains the entire contents of Avner Moriah’s lavishly illustrated version of the Scroll of Esther, comprised of 20 sheets (panels) on Arsh paper, hinged with leather tape, each measuring approximately 21x14”. The work reproduces the vivid colors of the original, painted in gouache and gold leaf, depicting scenes from the story to accompany the masterful calligraphy by Izzy Pludwinsky. The text appears below the illustrations.
The cover panel depicts the cityscape of Shushan, and is followed by the first illustrated panel showing vignettes which act as a key to identifying the of the main characters of the story. The opening scenes of the king's feast are full of vivid color, and are densely populated with numerous figures. Throughout the work Moriah imbues the action scenes, tableaus and cityscapes with life and and vibrancy. The backgrounds are in lighter hues, and convey a wonderful sense of place and atmosphere. Lushly decorated interior scenes are filled with finely detailed and ornate Islamic-style geometric and floral designs, surrounding and engulfing the characters. The content of the text is rendered in simple scenes that get directly to the heart of the action, and easily convey meaning.
When entirely folded out, the panels have total length of approximately 36 feet. The leporello is accompanied by a printed booklet in white sewn wrappers on textured paper, with gold-brown lettering on the front cover. This booklet discusses the production of the work, the artists biography, the contents of the Esther story, and contains an English translation of the Hebrew text of each of the 18 story panels. The publication is #5 of a limited number of 100 copies, from a total edition of 180, hand-numbered and signed on the final panel by the artist. This is the fifth and most recent time that the Book of Esther has been illustrated by Avner Moriah. The printing was supervised by the artist and Yair Medina, at the Jerusalem Fine Art Prints Workshop, under the Digigraphie standards, using an Epson 9900 Printer. Text in Hebrew and English. Box, binding and interior in fine condition overall. fine. Item #43036