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[] Print: Sinagoga degli Ebrei cinesi (Synagogue of the Chinese Jews), 1827

Rectangular sheet engraving; interior with figures standing and seated in lower part of the composition; high square columns in two rows support ceiling; three round chandeliers hang from ceiling.


Interior of the 'Synagogue of the Chinese Jews,' from vol. 4 (1827) of Scelta di lettere edificanti, scritte dalle missioni straniere. Preceduta da quadri geografici storici, politici, religiosi e letterari de' paesi de missione, accresciuta di un ragguaglio storico sulle missioni straniere di nuove lettere edificanti ed altri scelti pezzi (Milan, R. Fanfani, 1825-1829), an Italian edition of Lettres edifiantes et curieuses ecrites des missions etrangeres par quelques missionnaires de la Compagnie de Jesus (Paris, N. le Clerc, 1703-1776).


The print illustrates a letter from Father Giampaolo Gozani, SJ (Casale Monferrato, Italy 1659 - Macau 1732) to Father José Suarez (Soares), SJ (Santa Comba Dão, Portugal 1656 - Beijin 1736; Vice-provincial of the Jesuit mission to China), written on November 5, 1704 from Kaifeng, the capital of Hunan, in which he described the local synagogue, its architecture, books, rituals, and the customs of the small community it served.


Volume 4 of Scelta di lettere edificanti is available online at the Internet Archive.


See also:


Rudolf Lowenthal, "The early Jews in China: a supplementary bibliography," Folklore Studies 5/1946: 353-398.


Goldstein, Jonathan, ed. The Jews of China, edited with an introduction by Jonathan Goldstein ; concluding essay by Benjamin J. Schwartz. 2 vols. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1999: 60-61.


Data on the Jesuit priests is included in the "Ostasiatisches Seminar - China and the West” research resources published by the University of Zurich (UZH), 27 Nov. 2011 at China and the West Index of Names


Magnes Database Record



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Taken sometime in 1827