In the Quest of Meeting the Emperor – an Illustrated Diary of Herzl Tour in Palestine
We have recently celebrated the 125th anniversary of the first Zionist Congress in Basel. The president of the country, Haim Herzog, marked the event by recreating the famous photograph of Herzl on the balcony of the Three Kings Hotel where the congress was held.
I chose to mark the event with an illustration of Herzl’s travel diary in the Land of Israel with the aim of meeting the German Emperor and harnessing him to the Zionist vision. In his meeting with the emperor and in his travel diary, Herzl refers a lot to the beauty of the land and the aesthetic aspects of building the Jewish state that will be established. He points out that Jerusalem outside the walls would be even more beautiful than Rome. This book presents illustrations of all the places mentioned in Herzl’s diary as seen today, alongside the diary text. The illustrations enhance the excitement of reading the fascinating diary by visually demonstrating the fulfillment of Herzl’s vision from both the national revival and also its aesthetic aspect.