While touring the Top Kapi palace in Istanbul some years ago, I came upon a collection of beautiful illuminated manuscripts.
They were hand, painted gifts from the Persian kings to the sultans of the Ottoman Empire.
I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the rich depth opf the blue color they used. The repeating symbols and delicacy of the painting led me to make use of the style.
The Tree of life is depicted at the top of the work, under a Persian style arch.
Two hebrew letters spell out the word "chai" meaning "life" in the middle of the foliage.
The whole work is surrounded by a lush and bountiful collage of multi colored flowers on a background of deep blue.
Stars of David form a geometric outer border, filled with many colored dots.
Larger stars appear in the work within the blue border, one containing a dove of peace with an olive branch in her mouth .
While on the other side of the illumination a star of David houses a harp, as in the harp played by David the King.
Within a circle at the base of the work is a window and two lit shabbat candles, a crescent moon sits silent shining in the night sky.
All ketubah are signed by the artist and produced on Somerset Velvet acid free archival paper.