American Turkey Print

Turkey Print.jpg
Turkey Print.jpg
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American Turkey Print

20.00 25.00

Archival 9" x 12" Digital Print

A turkey is prominently displayed in a large central medallion at the base of the cupola. The painting shows a zoologically correct North American turkey with particular attention given by the artist to its distinctive wattle. Such accuracy could not have been the product of the artist’s imagination. At first, it is difficult to image how the North American turkey could have been painted in an early-eighteenth-century Polish synagogue, but books depicting the exotic flora and fauna from beyond the European world were widely available in eighteenth-century Europe. One of the books, Zwi Hirsch Kaidanover’s popular Kave ha-Yasher, contains a collection of sayings, vocalized by exotic animals, emphasizing the wonder and incomprehensibility of God’s creations.

Thus, the “exotic” turkey was an appropriate animal for depiction in the synagogue because it represented and confirmed the splendors of God’s creations. The turkey was to be contemplated by pious Jews as an example of the unfathomable variety of God’s creatures.  

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