Jerusalem Mishneh Torah
Maimonides' Mishneh Torah
Copied in Spain, 14th century; illuminated Perugia, Italy, c. 1400.
A typical decorated opening page for the "Book of Love [of God]." The illustration on the top initial-word panel shows a man embracing a Torah scroll. In the lower margin another man is reciting the shema before going to bed.
This is one of the most sumptuous manuscripts of the Mishneh Torah. In the absence of colophon, it can be inferred from the script that the manuscript was copied either in Spain or southern France in the first half of the 14th century (in any case, before 1351, when the codex was sold in Avignon). The scribe's name was probably Isaac, since this name is decorated in several places in the text. The manuscript was illuminated in burnished gold and lively wash colors by a skilled non-Jewish artist of Perugia, Matteo di Ser Cambio.
JERUSALEM, JEWISH NATIONAL AND UNIVERSITY LIBRARY, MS. HEB. 4*1193
Text from Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts by Bezalel Narkiss, Encyclopedia Judaica, Jerusalem 1969.