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Old Testament Figures in Art

Chiara de Capoa

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. Old Testament Figures in Artcompiles 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 Delilahby Peter Paul Rubens, Jacob Wrestling with the Angelby Paul Gauguin, and Isaac Receiving Rebekah as His Wifeby 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.

Chiara de Capoa is an art historian specializing in medieval art at the Libera Università di Lingua e Communicazione IULM in Milan. 

“A feast for the eyes from beginning to end, a book to be studied or just admired.”
—Lyn Smith, Tui Motu InterIslands Magazine

Additional titles in this series.

352 pages
5 1/4 x 7 3/4 inches
400 color illustrations
ISBN 978-0-89236-745-0

Getty Publications
Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum
Series: A Guide to Imagery