Moshe Yair Microcalligraphy Safed
|Yair Gallery of Microcalligraphy Art, Tzfat Gallery of Microcalligraphy
|Tzfat artist who practices the art of creating pictures using text in minute calligraphy.
Tzfat artists have been engaged in creating microcalligraphy art since the legendary Shalom of Tzfat developed the art form during the early years of the State. Moshe Yair, a local artists whose family has lived in Tzfat for centuries, adopted the art form and exhibits his works in his gallery on Yosef Caro Street in the Old Jewish Quarter.
Micro calligraphy is an ancient art in which the artist writes Biblical texts in miniature diminutive lettering. Artists create pictures by hand-writing the text. The text shapes and forms drawings and paintings into a story. The paintings illustrate the text. Artists use books of the Bible and other holy texts to create a vision of the story. Microcalligraphy artists can write an entire Book of the Bible on a sheet of paper, parchment or canvas.
 Moshe Yair Background =
Moshe Yair comes from a family with deep roots in Safed. His family arrived from Spain to escape the Spanish Inquisition and has been living in Tzfat for over 400 years. Moshe’s ancestor, Rabbi Moshe Rachamim Yair, built the Moshe Rachamim synagogue and Moshe still prays in this ancient synagogue. Moshe grew up in Tzfat as part of a family which was deeply involved in Tzfat’s municipal and cultural affairs. His family owned the popular Yair Hotel on Jerusalem Street and supported the pre-State Irgun para-military and the later Likud party which grew out of the Irgun.
Yair received his inspiration for creating works of microcalligraphy from his grandmother. She would write verses of “Tehillim” -- Psalms -- in tiny script and give it to her family and friends to carry around with them as protection against the Evil Eye. Moshe was fascinated by this craft and when the opportunity arose to open a gallery of microcalligraphy, he acted and opened his gallery near the Yosef Caro synagogue.
 Original Art
Yair is a self-taught artist. He creates intricate works of microcalligraphy which is embedded in paintings. These paintings illustrate the text. In addition, Moshe creates original paintings of Tzfat and Israel scenes. Moshe does not reproduce his original microcalligraphy or three-dimensional oil paintings as lithograph prints but prefers to sell only the original works.
Moshe’s microcalligraphy works include the Book of Exodus illustrated by a picture of Moses splitting the Red Sea, the Book of Genesis as seen in the Story of Creation and the Book of Numbers interwoven into a picture of the narrative of The Spies that Moses sent into the Land of Israel.
Moshe displays his works in his permanent gallery on Beit Yosef Street in the Old City.