• Scrolls 58 (V.3)



    Scroll containing Song of Songs, Ruth, and Ecclesiastes

    Manuscript ID:
    Scrolls 58 (V.3)

    Germany or Alsace

    Second half of the 18th century

    Hand-painted border Ink and gouache on parchment, 8 membranes, 41 text columns, 22 lines per column 245 × 4595 mm (9.7 × 180.9 in.)


    The scroll contains three books from the group of Five Scrolls: Song of Songs, Ruth and Ecclesiastes. It is lavishly decorated and hand colored. Both the upper and lower margins are ornamented with landscape scenes enclosed in cartouches alternating with floral decoration. The text panels are separated by columns, pedestals, birds, and flower-filled urns. Each book opens with decorative initial word that is written in enlarged colored letters. In the last text column of each book, just below the text is a scene related to the final phrase of each of the books.  Song of Songs ends with the image of a man (Solomon?) standing in the walled vineyard (alluding to 8:11); the book of Ruth ends with an image of King David playing the harp (David’s genealogy is listed in the last sentences of the book), and beneath the final text column of Ecclesiastes there is a figure of a man (perhaps an allusion to the traditional author of the book – King Solomon) sitting at the table, and a shelf on the wall with several books on it that is likely an allusion to one of the final sentences of the book “of making many books there is no end” (12:12)

    Manuscript Link: