Scribe: Aaron Wolf Herlingen (ca. 1700 –
The Five Scrolls written in micrography
in four languages
Manuscript on vellum; ink and gold leaf,
19.1 x 15
The master Hebrew scribe Aaron Wolf Herlingen was employed as a calligrapher and scribe at the Imperial and Royal Library in Vienna. One of his most popular works seems to have been a single sheet containing the Five Scrolls of the biblical Writings (Ketuvim) in micrography; in addition to this sheet, four others are known to exist.
Ecclesiastes and Esther are written in Hebrew, Song of Songs in Latin, Ruth in German, and Lamentations in French. Four of the texts are illustrated by hand in monochrome, imitating engravings in printed books: vignettes of the Judgment of Solomon, Solomon Enthroned, Mordecai before Ahasuerus, and Ruth and Boaz in the Field. In writing that is almost microscopic, the royal scribe inserted his name and position at the opening of Song of Songs, adding a miniature depiction of Vienna; inserted the date and place of the manuscript at the beginning of Ruth; and signed in Hebrew in the Book of Esther.