Stages     The Four Sons     Text Illustrations


Folio 30r

This page demonstrates the initial steps in the illumination of a manuscript. The scribe determined the layout of the page, and full-page miniature illustrations such as this one were equal in size to the text block. The artist depicted two servants holding the bitter herbs within a framed border, accompanied by the words maror zeh, and applied gesso to prepare the parchment for the application of gold leaf.

Folio 29r

The illumination of the miniature was executed in the following stages: the words matzah zu were penned and the image was sketched; gesso and gold leaf were applied to specific areas; blue pigment was added to parts of the frame and the background; and brown ink was employed in the decorative interlacing within the matzah.



Folio 9v

This page exemplifies the extraordinary beauty of the fully illuminated folios of the Prato Haggadah. The pages are adorned with decorative motifs, including hybrids, birds, and leafy forms. Gold leaf and a variety of pigments were applied, and the images were outlined in black to add definition.