Thursday, June 01, 2006

Ephraim Moses Lilien

Illustrator and photographer Ephraim Moses Lilien (1874-1925) "father of Jewish bookplates," created ex libris with distinctive Jewish motifs. He was born in Galicia but settled in Germany in 1899. He illustrated for the Zionist movement and was the one took the most famous photo of Herzl on the balcony of his hotel. Lilien traveled to Jerusalem in 1905 and helped found the first Jewish art Academy, Bezalel.


One of his works includes four large Stars of David on a circle made of many small ones. In the center there are palms representing the Kohanim (priest) blessing.


Another work is "From Ghetto to Zion" postcard, which was chosen at the Fifth Zionist Congress in 1901 in Bazel to represent the movement's message. The work shows a white angel pointing for a ghetto Jew (who is sitting bent circled with barbed wire) towards a farmer cultivating the soil of Israel; at the bottom of the work appear two Stars of David and words from the book of prayer


"And may our eyes behold when thou returnest unto Zion in compassion"  


On the tab of a stamp made of this postcard there's the word Zion in a Star of David creating an un ambiguous identification between the word (Zion) and the Shape (Star of David).



zeevveez said...

See also: Von Ghetto nach Zion
Some stars in the sky are Stars of David:

zeevveez said...
On the shore lie eight oil wells in the form of radiant boats, waiting to ferry passengers to a new world. The Magen David is poised in a star-filled sky and Lilien pronounces himself as the shamash, the catalyst for the modern exodus.