I've seen various illustrations if the kohen gadol that look like this. Sometimes the hat is wider, tzits has different styles, breastplate different sizes etc. I want to know where the "look" came from?

picture of man looking up while wearing garments of high priest and holding incense, with descriptions around him pointing to and explaining the various garments

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    While this is about Judaism, I'm wondering if it's on topic. Might be more for an art history stack exchange
    – robev
    Commented Feb 13, 2022 at 6:47
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    Some references in the picture are to non-Jewish scriptures. See the quotes for the “girdle”, the “pants inner clothes” and the “robe of the ephod. Commented Feb 13, 2022 at 13:57

1 Answer 1


In 244 CE, the Dura Europos Synagogue commissioned a Mural (now located at Damascus, National Museum) which illustrated אַהֲרֹן Aharon as Kohen Gadol [right of the menorah] : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dura-Europos_synagogue#/media/File:Herod's_Temple.jpg

In 1210 CE, the "Ingeborg Psalter" provided early 2D illustrations of אַהֲרֹן Aharon as Kohen Gadol (created by the French Illuminator known as Master of the Ingeborg Psalter) commissioned by Queen Ingeborg of France: https://www.akg-images.com/archive/-2UMDHUNVGGEE.html

In 1350 CE, the High Priest Aharon was depicted in the illustrated "Sarajevo Haggadah" (now owned by the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina) : https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarajevo_Haggadah

In 1553, Guillaume Rouille publicized a 2D illustration of אֶלְעָזָר Eleazar as Kohen Gadol: https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Eleasar.jpg

In 1566, Guillaume Rouille also published illustrations of Aharon as High Priest in the Rouillé Vulgata: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guillaume_Rouillé

"Passover Haggadah" (1740 CE) by artist Jacob ben Judah Leib is another old Jewish source for 2D illustrations of a Kohen Gadol [Source].

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    How do you know this is the earliest?
    – Joel K
    Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 20:23
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    The question, as I understand it, concerns the earliest pictorial representation of the בגדי כהונה with a particular emphasis on that of the כהן גדול. The mural at Dura Europos depicts Aaron (as denoted by the Greek alphabet inscription ΑΡΩΝ ), however he is dressed in the then contemporary Persian/Sassanid style. The representation notably absents the most striking features of the Kohen Gadol, such as the ephod, hoshen, sis, etc. Commented Feb 15, 2022 at 15:00

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