So much art has been created out of the characters and stories of the book of Genesis. Let's explore it just a bit!
The Italian artist Michaelangelo painted The Creation of Adam on the ceiling of the Vatican's Sistine Chapel in the early 1500s for one of the worst popes of all time, Julius II. The fresco illustrates God giving life to Adam as part of the two biblical creation stories. It references the verse Genesis 1:27 "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him", which is probably a later addition to the previous verse: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:" This fresco remains one of the most iconic, celebrated, and reproduced paintings in human history.
This 1560s painting by Renaissance Dutch great Pieter Bruegel the Elder unfolds the more one stares at it. The seemingly solid Coliseum-style structure starts to look crooked and doom to fail. Bruegel was referencing the contemporary view of Ancient Rome similarly to Ancient Babylon, an empire that fell victim to its own hubris. Two versions, one large and one small, are in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam respectively.
Cain and Abel, by Rennaissance painter Titian, is now on the ceiling of the church of Santa Maria della Salute in Venice
The Body of Abel Found by Adam and Eve (William Blake, 1826) illustrates the parents discovering their dead son, as Cain flees
One brother is virtuous and dutiful, the other wild and rebellious. Published in 1952, the book still sells 50,000 copies each year
In what is considered among the most influential works of world literature, Shakespeare alludes to Cain and Abel
In this 1946 work, Abel looks on while Cain’s tormented face stares out of the picture, eyes unseen and his hair caught in a storm
In 1896, French sculpture Henry Vidal finished Cain, after having murdered his brother Abel, now in the Tuileries in Paris
In 1869, French artist Gustave Doré painted a litany of works about Genesis in general and Noah in particular
Noah performs a last-minute sacrifice to Yahweh in French Sebastien Bourdon's 1640's painting
The uncomfortable scene of the nude dad was captured by the Italian artist Giovanni Bellini's 1515 painting
Darren Aronofsky's 2014 retelling of the biblical epic story highlights Noah's dark personal journey
Steve Carrel's 2007 reticent and skeptical Noah is the polar opposite of the obedient biblical character
This is the oldest surviving work of Noah's Ark. Artist unknown
The Great Roman Baroque painter and his realist and dramatic style on display in his Sacrifice of Isaac, c. 1600
The Hospitality of Abraham, by artist unknown, is celebrated in this 14th century Greek painting
Sacrifice of Isaac, by Venetian Rennaissance painter Titian, in classical Mannerist style, was meant to be viewed from below
17th century Dutch painter Pieter Lastman's The Angel of the Lord Preventing Abraham from Sacrificing his Son Isaac
The Journey of Abraham and His Family,
by the Italian Baroque artist Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, AKA Grechetto
17th century Italian painter Domenichino depicts Abraham leading his beloved son Isaac to be sacrificed at God’s command