The Fall of Goliath

Moshe Shah Mizrahi, The Fall of Goliath,  Early 20th century.  Oil on glass, Feuchtwanger Collection, Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

Moshe Shah Mizrahi (1870–1930) was born in Tehran, Iran. He immigrated to Jerusalem around 1890, opening a frame and mirror workshop in the Old City. He specialized in painting mizrach figures on glass, which were hung on the eastern walls of Jewish homes to mark the direction for prayer. This work, though not a mizrach, is also painted on glass and tells the story of David and Goliath. David is seen in the lower left register triumphantly holding up Goliath’s large severed head with his sword. Four Philistines, dressed in Turkish costume, appear below Goliath’s huge body in shocked dismay, their arms upraised in horror. King Saul, in the upper central position surrounded by his troops, watches the entire scene unfold.

Moshe Shah Mizrahi, The Fall of Goliath, early 20th century.

The part of Jerusalem currently surrounded by an Ottoman-era wall, in which the Temple Mount is located. The Old City of Jerusalem is one of the oldest continuously occipied cities in the world.

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