Accompanying Moriah will be the Israeli Ambassador to the Vatican, Mordechay Lewy; and Angelica Berrie, President of the Russell Berrie Foundation.
Moriah’s Illuminated Book of Genesis took two years to create, and will be included in the Vatican Library’s distinguished holdings. The book, which is part of Moriah’s project to illuminate the entire Bible, is replete with vibrant biblical images.
One of its many unique features is that it visually compares various biblical stories as a visual midrash. The exquisite Hebrew text was executed by calligrapher Izzy Pludwinski.
“It is a tremendous honor to present my work to the Pope, and for my Illuminated Book of Genesis to be included in the Vatican’s collection of historical religious works of art that have inspired mankind throughout the ages,” said Moriah, 58, a native of Jerusalem.
Moriah’s numerous works are part of many prestigious libraries, museums, and private collections, including the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harvard University and Yale University, which already have acquired his Illuminated Book of Genesis.
Renowned as a landscape artist, Moriah, who received a Master’s of Fine Arts from Yale in 1983, has been concentrating on illuminating Jewish texts for the past 10 years.
“Moriah has created a modern visual midrash of his own,” said Prof. Shalom Sabar of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “The heroes of the past and the stormy events in their lives are given a special and personal look by (Moriah), which will surely attract many a viewer to understand their meaning and significance.”
Noted Hebrew University’s Prof. Yair Zakovitch, who advised Moriah throughout the project: “The abundance of details in Moriah’s images, the smallest of which are as slender as a hair in the painter’s brush, prods the viewer to return again and again in order to discover the endless facets contained in each image. Indeed, the words of Ecclesiastes prove true: ‘the eye never has enough of seeing’ (1:8).”