In this study, the authors describe a Jewish synagogue hand-wash basin, in Hebrew kior, which was discovered in the Sixties of the past century, after having been hidden for centuries. It served for less than fifteen years at the entrance of the synagogue of Agrigento, up to 1492, when the Jews of Sicily were expelled by the Catholic Kings of Aragon, of which the island was a part. On that tragic occasion, it is likely that someone concealed this precious monument in Siculiana or in another place, which contains a dedicatory inscription of the donor dated 1478, Samuel the son of Yonah Shiv‘on. Later the precious artefact was reused as a baptismal font and placed in the baptistery of the church of SS. Crocefisso, in Siculiana - a center not far from Agrigento and Sciacca - likely around the beginning of the seventeenth century, when the church was built. In 1966, during a restoration, when the baptismal font was cleaned, the priest of the church saw that it was a washbasin with a Hebrew inscription. Further study of historical sources allowed us to identify its donor as Samuel ben Yonah Shiv‘on as Xanguel de Jona (or Iuni) Xibuni, a rich Jewish grain dealer in Agrigento, and a member of a well-known family of the Jewish aristocracy in Agrigento and other towns. On that occasion, also eight alabaster forms, in which an artist engraved eight biblical scenes, were discovered around the Kior. The artisan wrote a dedicatory inscription in an elegant square ashkenazi writing, with Italian influences. The date and content of the alabaster forms appears to be compatible with the end of the fifteenth century, but we cannot confirm with certainty whether their biblical scenes, also attested in Christian art, had been made by the donor to embellish the synagogue’s kior of Agrigento, or whether they had originally been realized by Christian, and later reused to decorate the Kior.

L’ISCRIZIONE EBRAICA DEL KIOR DI SICULIANA DONATO DA XAMUEL DE YONA XIBUNI NEL 1478. UNA TESTIMONIANZA STORICO-ARTISTICA SUGLI EBREI DI AGRIGENTO

PERANI, MAURO;
2017

Abstract

In this study, the authors describe a Jewish synagogue hand-wash basin, in Hebrew kior, which was discovered in the Sixties of the past century, after having been hidden for centuries. It served for less than fifteen years at the entrance of the synagogue of Agrigento, up to 1492, when the Jews of Sicily were expelled by the Catholic Kings of Aragon, of which the island was a part. On that tragic occasion, it is likely that someone concealed this precious monument in Siculiana or in another place, which contains a dedicatory inscription of the donor dated 1478, Samuel the son of Yonah Shiv‘on. Later the precious artefact was reused as a baptismal font and placed in the baptistery of the church of SS. Crocefisso, in Siculiana - a center not far from Agrigento and Sciacca - likely around the beginning of the seventeenth century, when the church was built. In 1966, during a restoration, when the baptismal font was cleaned, the priest of the church saw that it was a washbasin with a Hebrew inscription. Further study of historical sources allowed us to identify its donor as Samuel ben Yonah Shiv‘on as Xanguel de Jona (or Iuni) Xibuni, a rich Jewish grain dealer in Agrigento, and a member of a well-known family of the Jewish aristocracy in Agrigento and other towns. On that occasion, also eight alabaster forms, in which an artist engraved eight biblical scenes, were discovered around the Kior. The artisan wrote a dedicatory inscription in an elegant square ashkenazi writing, with Italian influences. The date and content of the alabaster forms appears to be compatible with the end of the fifteenth century, but we cannot confirm with certainty whether their biblical scenes, also attested in Christian art, had been made by the donor to embellish the synagogue’s kior of Agrigento, or whether they had originally been realized by Christian, and later reused to decorate the Kior.
MATERIA GIUDAICA
Agostino, Daniela; Perani, Mauro; Scandaliato, Angela
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/606609
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