Exodus 14-15:21 tells us that when the Israelites’ exodus is blocked by the Red Sea, Pharaoh changes his mind and ordered his army to pursue them. And they complain. God parts the sea, they cross, Pharaoh’s army follows them, and when the Israelites are safely across, the Lord releases the walls of the parted sea which collapses upon the Egyptian army, drowning them in the sea. Miriam composes a song and the Israelites celebrate their deliverance. At least, for a while.
The Crossing of the Red Sea ROSSELLI (1439 – 1507)
See http://www.artbible.info/art/large/535.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting. Again, we see the influence of Rosselli’s contemporary world.
Crossing of the Red Sea CHAGALL (1887-1985)
See http://www06.homepage.villanova.edu/christopher.j.wilson/crossing.jpg for the source of the above photograph of the lithograph. See http://www06.homepage.villanova.edu/christopher.j.wilson/bible.htm for a description of it and of Chagall’s debt to other painters. It appears to me that there is a crucifix in the upper right portion of the piece, which seems to be inconsistent with a Jewish rendition of the scene; but Chagall also painted several crucifixes. For an excellent and accessible summary of Chagall’s life and work, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Chagall. For reference to his later life when he adopted Christianity yet reflected Jewish themes, see http://www.chagallpaintings.org/article5-chagall-paintings.html.
Submerssion of Pharaoh in the Red Sea PREVITALI (c. 1470-1528)
See http://www.terminartors.com/artworkprofile/Previtali_Andrea-Submersion_of_Pharaoh_in_the_Red_Sea for the source of the above photograph of the painting and a very brief description. Again, we see a rendition of the painting of an ancient biblical story cast in a high Renaissance setting – contemporary with the artist’s cultural and historical heritage.
The spiritual, O Mary, Don’t You Weep celebrates the safe crossing and Miriam’s song with great flair.
Miriam BURNE-JONES (1833 – 1893)
See http://www.artbible.info/art/large/141.html for the source of the above photograph of the stained glass window in St. Michael and All Angels Church in England.
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