Culture and Religious Art of the Jews of Mazovia in 16th-18th Century
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The culture and arts of Jewish inhabitants of Mazovia in the Old Polish period was strongly tied to religious life. The changes taking place in spiritual life in the 18th century (the spread of mystic movements and the progress of the Haskalah) resulted in the development of religious literature and publishing activity. As for synagogue architecture, in the 17th and 18th century, timber structures predominated; they referred to lay patters (manors and granaries). It was only in the mid-18th century that the first synagogues built of brick appeared, often inspired by church architecture. Artistic handicrafts products used in the rites were made both by Christian and Jewish artisans in the 18th century. They did not differ significantly from utilitarian handicrafts products from the neighbouring regions. The same could be said of tombstones, referring chiefly to Jewish sepulchral art. of Małopolska region. These monuments, most of which were destroyed during World War II, constituted an important element of Mazovia's civilizational legacy.
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