van Ruisdael's "Portuguese-Jewish Cemetery, Ouderkerk, nr Amsterdam. #general

Celia Male <celiamale@...>

I have just been on a busman's holiday. I planned to
visit the Jacob van Ruisdael exhibition at the Royal
Academy, London and to attend a short lecture, as a
break >from Jewish genealogy and housework. To my
surprise and delight, the lecture was mainly about
this picture [the one >from the Dresden Art Gallery]:

NB: the first lines of the text are misleading; the
famous cemetery, now a shadow of its former self, is
in the Netherlands. It was a real treat to see this
famous painting. Its near twin [not quite as
evocative?] is in Detroit:

Goethe was so impressed, that he wrote an essay about
the picture: < >
Constable also regarded the picture highly. It was
painted in 1655, some 40 years after the cemetery was
founded, and is largely allegorical and includes an
imaginary landscape.

This article discusses some of the famous people
buried there, the present state of this once glorious
cemetery and attempts to restore it. The documentation
of the graves by David Henriques de Castro is also
discussed: < >

This Jewishgen site also discusses the cemetery under
"Amsterdam": < >

You will note the impressive tomb in the centre of the
picture - here is the amazing story behind it and it
is **definitely worth reading**! It is that of Doctor
Philotheus Eliahu de Luna MONTALTO [aka as Felipe
Rodrigues de Castelo Branco.] Maria de Medici in
Florence, where Dr MONTALTO was a respected practising
physician, arranged for his body to be embalmed after
his death in 1616 and sent to Ouderkerk for burial:

Our young lecturer, however, did not know this most
fascinating part of the story.

Celia Male [U.K.]

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