Ibn Ḥayyim, Abraham ben Judah

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IBN ḤAYYIM, ABRAHAM BEN JUDAH (mid-15th century), author of a remarkable treatise on the art of manuscript illumination, Libro de como se facem as cores (Parma Biblioteca Palatina, Ms. Parma, 1959). It was written in Portuguese using Hebrew characters, perhaps at Loulé in Portugal not later than 1462. The language shows Galician (Spain) tendencies and the work may derive from that area. In it, the author gives detailed information for the making and application of colors in book illumination, and it is evident that he was himself a professional book illuminator, not necessarily working for a Jewish clientele. The composition is the most important extant document in medieval Judeo-Portuguese. Abraham was probably of the same family as Joseph *Ibn Ḥayyim.


Blondheim, in: jqr (1928/29), 97–135; 20 (1929/30), 89–90, 283–4; idem, in: Todd Memorial Volumes…, (1930), 71–83; A. Moreira de Sá, O livro de como se fazem as cores de Abraão b. Judah ibn Ḥayyim (1960).

[Cecil Roth]

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Ibn Ḥayyim, Abraham ben Judah

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