Description This scene illustrates a passage from Genesis in which the blind Jacob deliberately rests his right hand (the hand of honor) on the head of Ephraim, the younger grandson, and his left hand on Manasses, the elder one. In so doing, Jacob, also called Israel, prophesies the greatness of Ephraim's descendants, interpreted by medieval theologians as the Christian faithful. The plaque was probably part of a "typological" cross--a cross that combines Old and New Testament scenes--in which the crossed arms of Jacob symbolically refer to the crucified Christ.
|5/02/1984||Examination||examined for exhibition|
- Enamels. Museum of Contemporary Crafts, New York. 1959.
- The Hebrew Bible in Christian, Jewish & Muslim Art. The Jewish Museum, New York. 1963.
- The Taste of Maryland: Art Collecting in Maryland 1800-1934. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984.
- Russian Enamels. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1996-1997.
Provenance Pierre Leven, Cologne, by purchase; Sale, J. M. Heberle, Cologne, October 4, 1853, no. ???; Henry Walters, Baltimore, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions Upper line of text in enamel on either side of central figure's head: IA/COB; [Transcription] IA/COB; [Translation] Jacob. Lower line of text over the head of the bowing figure at viewer's left: MANASSES [Transcription] MANASSES; [Translation] Manasses. Lower line of text in enamel over the head of the bowing figure at viewer's right: EFRAIM; [Transcription] EFRAIM; [Translation] Ephraim
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters
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