The stories of the Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments are some of the most evocative in literature and are at the very heart of western culture. It is, therefore, no surprise that so many great artists decided to turn to the Bible for inspiration. Here are some of the greatest paintings inspired by the Bible.
1. Saul and David, by Rembrandt van Rijn
Rather than dress them in European garb, as was common then, Rembrandt imagined the Biblical king as an Ottoman sultan.
2. The Last Supper, Leonardo da Vinci
Sadly, the legendary fresco has fallen into disrepair with the years. It is noteworthy for portraying the shocked reaction of the disciples to Jesus’ proclamation of the coming betrayal.
3. The Judgment of Solomon, Nicolas Poussin
4. Judith Beheading Holofernes, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
5. The Tower of Babel, Pieter Bruegel the Elder
6. The Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones, Gustave Dore
Dore is one of the most famous Biblical illustrators, having created hundreds of engravings of Biblical stories.
7. The Battle of Jericho, Johann Heinrich Schönfeld
8. The Adoration of the Magi, Peter Paul Rubens
9. Moses on Mount Sinai, Jean-Léon Gérôme
10. Sacrifice of Isaac, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
11. Ruth in the Field of Boaz, Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld
12. Creation of Adam, Michelangelo
The famous ceiling Fresco in the Sistine Chapel is one of the world’s most well-known masterpieces.
13. Jacob Wrestling with the Angel, Alexandre Louis Leloir
14. The Adoration of the Golden Calf, Nicolas Poussin
15. The Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, Francesco Hayez
16. Death of the Pharaoh’s Firstborn Son, Lawrence Alma-Tadema