Rembrandt’s Hebrew Public Domain

Rembrandt’s Hebrew

While most other Renaissance artists could only erroneously copy Hebrew texts, Rembrandt took the Bible more seriously.

Israelis visiting Europe’s churches and museums this summer will be surprised to find Hebrew letters and words on many of the most famous Renaissance and Baroque period art. But when the Hebrew-speakers try to read the Hebrew words, they will find that in most cases there are many mistakes and they will be unable to make sense of the Hebrew lettering. What is the source of these Hebrew words on some of Europe’s most famous masterpieces? Did these Christian artists know Hebrew? The use of Hebrew words in art became popular around the 15th century with the expansion of the…