Moshe Dadon Gallery Safed
|גלריה משה דדון|
|Eva Gallery, Dadon Microcalligraphy|
|Artist who creates, exhibits and sells his works of microcalligraphy in Tzfat.|
Shalom of Safed developed the art of microcalligraphy in Tzfat in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s. New artists, such as Moshe Dadon, continue the tradition, creating work of microcalligraphy in which the artist writes scriptural or other holy texts in diminutive lettering. The text is incorporated into the paintings as the paintings themselves illustrate the text. A microcalligraphy artist can create a vision of an entire Book of the Bible on a sheet of parchment, paper or canvas.
Moshe Dadon grew up in Casablanca where he was taught to write prayer books and other holy texts in tiny writing. Young Jewish boys in Morocco were taught this skill so that Jews could carry their holy books and other ritual items through the streets and Islamic mobs would not discover these holy books during their periodic rampages through the Jewish Quarter. Moshe learned the art of “sofer-stam” -- ritual scribe -- at the age of eight. Dadon moved to Israel in 1962 and settled in Safed, finding work as a police inspector with the Tzfat police department. He continued to engage in his hobby of creating artwork based on microcalligraphy.
Moshe concentrates on depicting Biblical characters and major Biblical events. Each piece contains an entire book of the Bible written within the painted watercolor picture. Paintings include pictorial descriptions of Biblical scenes and narratives as well as imaginative extrapolations of Biblical events. Dadon writes the microcalligraphy text in ink and illustrates with bright watercolor paints. Depending on the amount of text, these microcalligraphy paintings can take anywhere from three to twelve months to produce.
Some of Dadon’s best-known works include the Book of Genesis in which the text is inserted into a globe as Noah’s Ark floats by, the Book of Leviticus as illustrated by a model of The Temple in Jerusalem and the Book of Psalms written into a scene of Old Country Klezmer musicians. Other well-known works include the Book of Joshua which depicts the Menorah of the Ark of the Covenant surrounded by doves and the verses that relate the story of Eliezer and Rivka as they meet at the well. Moshe also explores Kabbalah with a microcalligraphy painting of the Ten Sephirot surrounded by text from the Kabbalistic Zohar and he includes Tzfat scenes in some of his works which display Sabbath prayers and songs amongst the cobbled lanes and stone homes of the Old City of Safed.
 Eva Gallery
Dadon, together with his wife Eva, opened the Eva Gallery on Main Gallery Street after he retired from the police force. The Eva Gallery exhibits Moshe’s hand-lettered microcalligraphy artwork. Original paintings and lithographs are available. In addition to his own microcalligraphy work, Dadon exhibits works of other artists, including his nephew Gadi and his son Har-el.