Consecration of the Tabernacle and Its Priests

Consecration of the Tabernacle and Its Priests

Date 245-46 CE

Movement Early Jewish

Medium Tempera on plaster

Dimensions 4’8.25” x 7’8.25”

Provenance west wall of sanctuary of synagogue, Dura-Europos, Syria

Reconstructed at the National Museum, Damascus, Syria


Interestingly, the Tabernacle, protected by a defensive wall, is depicted as a Roman temple, though it is described in the Bible as a portable structure. Aaron, the first Jewish high priest, appears atop the wall, though this is only the artist’s use of hieratic scale to show his importance; his figure is flat and abstract, and lost in the weight of his decorative robs; his attendants, however, display free form and movement. Interestingly, Aaron’s name is written in Greek.