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Model of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in a Bottle

Moses Formstecher (1760-1836)
Offenbach (Germany), 1813
  • Glass: half-post blown; wood: painted; metal
  • 11 1/4 x 5 in. (28.6 x 12.7 cm)
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Bial, JM 21-79a
  • Digital image © 2006 The Jewish Museum, New York Photo by Ardon Bar Hama
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Model of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in a Bottle

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Model of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in a Bottle

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Model of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in a Bottle

CLOSE LOOKING / VISUAL ANALYSIS:

  • What can you say about the model inside the bottle? What does it look like to you?

  • How big do you think this piece is?

  • How do you think the artist got the model inside the bottle?




FOR FURTHER DISCUSSION:

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

  • Solomon's Temple and the subsequent Second Temple were both destroyed on Tisha b'Av, and Jewish people mourn their loss on that day. People still visit the Temple site in Jerusalem and pray at the Western Wall (a retaining wall for the platform on which the Temple once stood). It is considered a holy location. What do you think makes a place holy?

  • The Temple was once the center of the world's Jewish community. Today, synagogues and other institutions fill that need within local Jewish communities. What buildings or institutions serve as centers for your community?

  • The model inside the bottle is an artist's idea of what the ancient Temple in Jerusalem looked like. What do you think it looked like?

  • If you could bottle a special object or location, what would it be? Why?