Art Bible

Every few months, I pull out the copy of The Bible Portrayed that we picked up several years ago at the Green Valley Bookfair. The book has passages from the Bible printed on the left pages and corresponding images from famous art on the right. I love how it spans different periods and juxtaposes them. There’s God Dividing Light from Darkness, from the Sistine Chapel, and then you turn the page and, BOOM, Chagall’s Creation of Man is there.

Paul Gauguin, The Vision After the Sermon (Jacob Wrestling with the Angel)

Paul Gauguin, The Vision After the Sermon (Jacob Wrestling with the Angel)

Silas likes to look through it and ask me about the pictures. Some of them are hard to explain to a little kid, and some of them, I’m just not ready to get into yet. Like the image of Jael and Sisera. “Mama, what is the lady doing?” Dude, I don’t want to tell you just yet.

For many stories, it’s a good inroad. Silas is not phased by the fact that the people change from one page to the next. I love the idea that his mental pictures of Bible stories will be high-quality, legitimate art. Maybe the art history lesson will influence his burgeoning artistic skills. In an otherwise rough, whiny month, this book has brought us a few precious moments of peace.

Jacob's Ladder, c. 1490

Jacob’s Ladder, c. 1490

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