Ecclesiastes: Chapters 8-12
Collection: The Five Scrolls
Others in the set: Ecclesiastes: Chapters 1-3 and Ecclesiastes: Chapters 4-7
Needlework by Ilana Limoni
Illustrations painted by Lindy Tilp
Illustrations adapted by Lindy Tilp from unknown biblical pictorial books
Text from the Koren Tanakh (1965 edition)
Completed in 1998
It took about one year to make
Materials and technique:
Petit Point Canvas made from cotton with an 18 mesh mono weave (i.e., 324 stitches per square inch)
Threads are silk, cotton, wool and metallic fibers
Technique is a variety of stitches
Size with and without frame:
H: 87¾” W: 37¼”
With frame: H: 88¼” W: 37¾”
Process in general:
The first phase of creating a scroll panel entailed Ilana free form stitching in petit point the Hebrew text onto the canvas, referencing a graph of the Hebrew alphabet she created. Chapters and verses start at the margin, with a new chapter also signified by a larger first letter. Since Hebrew is written from right to left and the verses have different number of words, the left side of each panel had many blank spaces available for drawings. Also, Ilana reserved the top of the canvas for more illustrations. Once the scribing was complete, Ilana’s artist used an English translation of the text to inspire her work. The second phase of the needlework came after the canvas was painted. Ilana stitched the artwork first and then she covered the remainder of the canvas with a background. Additionally, Ilana designed the border and used the same one for all of the panels in this set.
The main person depicted in this panel is King Solomon, who is assumed by many to have authored this scroll. At the bottom of the canvas is an illustration of a gathering, reflecting salient themes in the text of being hospitable and enjoying the simple pleasures of daily life.
Over time, Ilana developed a more creative approach to her needlepointing and this scroll set reflects such variety, in comparison to her first biblical scroll, the Song of Songs panels, which were stitched uniformly in the classic basket weave.
The Ecclesiastes panels are the first time Ilana added a border to her work.
Since this is the last panel in the set, there is a dedication at the bottom and it is to her husband Uri and grandsons Joshua and Daniel.