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Purim: Four Facets of Esther

Robert Indiana (American, b. 1928)

Purim: Four Facets of Esther, 1967

  • Screenprint on paper
  • 29 7/16 x 23 1/2 in. (74.8 x 59.7 cm)
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • Commissioned by The Jewish Museum, JM 109-67
  • © 2008 Morgan Art Foundation Ltd. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Not on view

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Purim: Four Facets of Esther

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Purim: Four Facets of Esther

CLOSE LOOKING / VISUAL ANALYSIS:

  • What words, numbers, and symbols do you see in this print? What do they have to do with the Purim story? Where would you expect to see images like this?

  • What do you think Indiana is trying to say about Esther's actions?

  • Why do you think Indiana uses the words fast, feast, feat, and faith to tell Esther's story? What effect do these words have? What is the effect of numbering Esther's facets from one to four?

  • Discuss the artist's use of color. Which colors has he used? How has he used them differently in each area of the work?

  • How is each circle different?




FOR FURTHER DISCUSSION:

After giving students ample opportunity to examine this print, lead them in a discussion of related topics and themes.

  • Although Indiana's work is non-figurative, this print might be considered a kind of portrait of Esther in words and numbers. Do you agree? Why or why not?

  • Can you think of four words to describe another character in the Purim story? What four words would you use to tell your own story?