Ketubah of the Day - Pisa (Italy), 1721 Ketubah by The Jewish Museum -
Apr 7

Ketubah of the Day

Pisa (Italy), 1721 Ketubah

by The Jewish Museum

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Ketubah Description

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This ketubah was adapted from a marriage contract, from Pisa (Italy), 1721, in the collection of The Jewish Museum. The Grand Duke Ferdinand I of Tuscany (r. 1587-1609) invited Jews to settle in Pisa and Livorno in the late sixteenth century; they included descendants of Spanish conversos. It is therefore not surprising that, in this ketubah from Pisa, the original bride and groom were of Spanish origin. The groom’s family emblem, featured in the shield above, includes a lion. The representation of seminude figures in the top corners of the ketubah indicates the influence of Italian art. The text in the cartouche at the top reads: “The crown of the good name” The large text at the top reads: “With a good sign and favorable fortune” The text along the sides reads: “The Lord make the woman that is to come into your house like Rachel and Leah, which two did build the house of Israel, and do you worthily in Ephrath and be famous in Bethlehem; and let your house be like the house of Peretz, whom Tamar bore unto Judah, of the seed which the Lord shall give you of this young woman.” (Ruth 4:11b-12) The text at the bottom reads: “Your wife will be as a fruitful vine in the innermost parts of your house; your children like olive plants around your table.” (Psalm 128:3)

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Ketubah Artist Bio

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Widely admired for its exhibitions and collections that inspire people of all backgrounds, The Jewish Museum in New York City is one of the world’s preeminent institutions devoted to exploring the intersection of art and Jewish culture from ancient to modern times. Encompassing four floors of galleries, and located on Manhattan’s prestigious Museum Mile at Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, The Jewish Museum organizes a diverse schedule of internationally acclaimed and award-winning temporary exhibitions as well as dynamic and engaging programs for families, adults, and school groups. The permanent exhibition tells the unfolding story of Jewish culture and identity through 800 works of art, archaeology, ceremonial objects, photographs, video and interactive media. The Museum was established in 1904 when Judge Mayer Sulzberger donated 26 ceremonial art objects to The Jewish Theological Seminary of America as the core of a museum collection. Today, the Museum maintains a collection of 26,000 objects – paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photographs, archaeological artifacts, ritual objects, and broadcast media. Its collection of Jewish ceremonial art is the most significant in the Western Hemisphere. The Jewish Museum provides a unique source of insight and inspiration for all people, and is a major cultural resource for New York City and the world. For further information visit