Multipurpose Wall Decoration from 1893: A Biblical Map of the Holy Land

From Our Holdings

This "New and Original Biblical Map of the Holy Land" from 1893 was probably never intended to be used by a pilgrim or traveler on the ground.

Biblical Maps

In fact, "Biblical maps" were maps of Palestine that showed the Israelites' route through the desert or, in the Christian context, important places in Jesus' life – all based on the latest biblical research. Maps in this genre had existed for centuries aside from contemporary maps that helped travelers get their bearings.

Orientation or Decoration?

Our map is labeled in English, Hebrew, and Yiddish. It shows current railroad lines alongside the Israelites' passage through the Red Sea, the route taken by biblical scouts to the land of Canaan, and the site of the Battle of Gilboa. In addition to a legend and illustrations of contemporary "sights" such as the Cave of the Patriarchs and the Western Wall of the Temple, it includes a box for recording people's birthdays. This is evidence that the map was conceived as a wall decoration rather than a reference to take on a pilgrimage.

Zionist Publication

But who hung a map like this on the wall? It must be seen in the context of Zionism, the movement in Judaism to create a Jewish state. "Buy now – it's time!" reads a caption in Yiddish: settle in Palestine, for it is here, the map argues, that the Jewish people's past and future come together.

(11) Selected Objects from the Fine Arts Collection Alle anzeigen

Selected Objects from the Fine Arts Collection

Albertine Mendelssohn-Bartholdy as a Bride by August Theodor Kaselowsky

In this painting, Albertine Heine appears to be a Christian Madonna. She holds the ring near her heart, wearing a white dress with her gaze modestly lowered.

Biblical map of the Holy Land

This "New and Original Biblical Map of the Holy Land" from 1893 was probably never intended to be used by pilgrims or travelers on the ground.

Loneliness by Felix Nussbaum

Nussbaum is nearly unique among artists for his striking examination of his plight as one of the persecuted. He painted it in Brussels, where he was in hiding, in 1942.

The Plesch Family Portrait by Max Slevogt

Max Slevogt created this painting of his friend's family in 1928. It captures the intimacy of family life while fulfilling a group portrait's representative function.

Composition by Otto Freundlich

Otto Freundlich painted this abstract composition in 1938 – one year after another artwork of his had been branded "degenerate art" in Nazi Germany.

Moses Looks upon the Promised Land by Lesser Ury

For artist Lesser Ury, the painting marked the end of a lifelong preoccupation with the figure of Moses. Unfortunately, only a pastel sketch for the painting survives.

Sabbath by Jankel Adler

Jankel Adler's painting Sabbath shows a parlor scene on the weekly day of rest. But the artist has not depicted the festive, pleasurable moment of welcoming the Shabbat.

Girl Walking by Elisabeth Wolff

The sculpture by Elisabeth Wolff was a trophy at the first sporting festival held by the Reich Committee for Jewish Youth Associations, in 1934. The artwork has only been entrusted to our collection for safekeeping.

Self-Portrait with Straw Hat by Max Liebermann

In this late self-portrait, the artist presents himself as bourgeois in a dark suit and a Panama hat. Two years after his eightieth birthday, he painted himself here with a touch of resignation and melancholy.

S. Adam Advertising Poster by Louis Oppenheim

With this poster by the well-known graphic artist Louis Oppenheim, the S. Adam clothing store advertised its products to male and female sports enthusiasts in 1908.

Passage through the Red Sea by Jakob Steinhardt

This woodcut by Jakob Steinhardt illustrates a 1920s Haggadah. The people barely escaped with their lives—as is revealed in the expression on Moses’ face.


More on This Topic ...


More on This Topic ...