Throughout the Middle Ages, sacred Christian art had two objectives: to express veneration for God and to provide illustrative lessons on the Christian faith to a largely illiterate population. Continuing in the spirit of the other books in this series, Old Testament Figures in Art compiles entries on key figures and events in the Old Testament, beginning with the Pentateuch, then drawing from the historical books, the books of wisdom and poetry, and, finally, the prophetic books.
The vivid illustrations depict Old Testament scenes that occur most frequently as iconographic prototypes in Western art. Among the masterpieces featured are The Entry of the Animals into Noah's Ark by Jan Brueghel the Elder, The Sacrifice of Isaac by Rembrandt, Samson and Delilah by Peter Paul Rubens, Jacob Wrestling with the Angel by Paul Gauguin, and Isaac Receiving Rebekah as His Wife by Marc Chagall.
The accompanying texts illuminate the unique ways in which Old Testament subjects have been portrayed in Western art throughout the ages. To complement the many scriptural references, this handy volume also offers comparisons with other cultures whose stories or myths parallel those represented in the book.