Monday, August 27, 2007

Who drew Rashi and when?

Zev asked me (and others) if I knew where this ubiquitous image of Rashi comes from and hold old it was. More specifically, could I point to somewhere from before the 20th century?

I could not. However, in the Jewish Encyclopedia (1901-05) entry on Rashi this image is not include, while other Rashi-related images are. Furthermore, the ubiquitous image of Maimonides is included, as are images of the Rif, Maharsha, the Gaon of Wilno and many images of lesser figures. Therefore I think I do not draw an unwarranted conclusion that when the JE was prepared the image either didn't yet exist, or at least wasn't popular.

This question is almost as important as knowing what color shirt Rashi wore or what brand of tobacco he smoked. Anyone know anything about where this image came from, and when?

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