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Stephen Wiltshire draws Jerusalem into a masterpiece

by Ziva May 29 2008
Steven Wiltshire draws Jerusalem from memory

So we're officially on the map – or shall we say, we've officially been mapped. Jerusalem has been drawn from above by renowned British artist (and possible superhuman) Stephen Wiltshire, putting us in such company as Tokyo, New York and London. In an interview with Yediot Aharonot (Hebrew link), Wiltshire noted, "Jerusalem was the hardest city I've ever encountered to draw. There are many tiny details that are without architectural order or reason." But instead of taking it to heart, Wiltshire took our holy city's inherent sprawling madness as a "big challenge" and the results are breathtaking.

During his intensive three days of drawing, Wiltshire left the municipality for scheduled visits related to advocacy and activities for autistic children. He visited schools and programs supported by Jerusalem's welfare and social services unit as well as visited a children's activity center in East Jerusalem. Wiltshire also participated in a general rehearsal of a theater group of autistic individuals – the first of its kind in Israel.

Wiltshire's sister, Annette, lamented that they were only able to see Jerusalem from above and not spend any time enjoying the city but adds that Stephen has expressed interest in drawing Tel Aviv – the skyscrapers of which appeal to Steven more. "Maybe we'll come back to draw Tel Aviv and then take a few days vacation to enjoy the country, not just draw it."

For now, Jerusalemite is happy to have Tel Aviv wait its turn while Jerusalem enjoys its time in the international artistic spotlight.

Above, Stephen Wiltshire draws Jerusalem. Courtesy of

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