Avner Moriah

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Born in Jerusalem in 1953, Avner Moriah is among the first generation of Israeli-born artists, and holds a B.F.A. from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Architecture and an M.F.A. from Yale University’s Graduate School of Art and Architecture. 

Moriah is an active artist and prolific painter whose creative career spans nearly five decades. His most recent accomplishment is a monumental project to illuminate the complete Pentateuch, a work of nearly fifteen years.  

For this unparalleled artistic undertaking, Moriah created hundreds of original illustrations that provide a singular visual interpretation of the ancient texts. Hand-painted in gouache with gold-leaf alongside the Hebrew text in artisan calligraphy, these volumes are an unrivalled work of art and a profound tribute of the highest accord to the ancient tradition and text. 

In 2021, Moriah earned a Guinness World Record for another magnificent creation- his illuminated Scroll of Esther, officially the longest in existence at 28 meters long. The scroll was completed in 2020, and took 15 years and more than a million brushstrokes to create. 

Moriah has also created an original illuminated Passover Haggadah, and a series of smaller illuminated Scrolls of Esther privately commissioned as limited editions. Additional projects on Jewish themes include, among others, a full series of the 52 weekly portions and a series of 12 Jewish holidays.

Prior to turning his brush and focus to illuminating Hebrew scripture, Moriah created murals depicting biblical scenes, painted a range of series on Jewish and Israeli themes and history, and captured the landscapes of his native Jerusalem and Israel in a series of on-site paintings. 

Moriah’s works, which reflect his roots in Western art as well as the atmosphere and inspiration of the Middle East, can be found in the collections of major museums and libraries throughout the world, as well as private collections. 

Among the institutes housing Moriah’s works are:

Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich | Bibliothèque Nationale de France | British Library | Cleveland

Museum of Art | Duke University Library | Harvard University Library | Hebrew Union College-Jewish

Institute of Religion, New York | Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University | Israel Museum,

Jerusalem | Jewish Museum, New York | Jewish Theological Seminary, New York | Library of Congress

National Library of Israel | New York Public Library | Oxford University Library | Skirball Cultural Center,

Los Angeles | The Metropolitan Museum of Art | Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum | University of California, Los Angeles | Vatican Library

Yale University Art Gallery | Yale University Library | Private Collections

Video Gallery

Among the institutes housing Avner Moriah’s work are: