An Allegory of the Bible WILLIAM BLAKE
The above photograph of the painting may be found at http://www.museumsyndicate.com/item.php?item=611
About a year ago, I had written a little book with my father, Rev. Edgar F. Wheeler’s contributions, for my son, Christopher entitled, Know Your Bible. One thing led to another until I had gathered from the internet pictures of art masterpieces from around the world inspired by Biblical scenes from Genesis through Revelation. I led our Sunday School through a six month study of those masterpieces. They loved it.
My undergraduate degree was in instrumental and vocal music. In my teaching, I connected music with the humanities, generally. I have maintained an avid interest in the visual arts, but have no formal education in them. This will be a great opportunity for me to learn from others who visit this site.
My daughter, Hilah, obtained a degree with a minor in art history. She will join us and bring her own expertise to the blog.
The Sunday School class preferred to read the accompanying scripture and simply explore the painting. I showed the painting on a television screen as we read the scripture. Most usually I would ask, “What do you see?” Verbalizing such observations often led to other observations or questions, such as, “What is that?” or ” I see. . .” The class loved to explore the paintings and through that might ask what the painter meant to say in the painting or, like any good art, they might be led to an interpretation that arose from their own experiences which they brought to the scripture or the painting. Good art does that. Many times, but not always, I would share the comments that are often referenced herein, depending upon whether they appeared to be helpful in initiating or developing exploration of the art. These works of art could be used as a focus of individual meditation or as the basis of group discussion of the scripture, the subject or the art; or they can just be enjoyed for their beauty or technique.
Hilah and I will select certain masterpieces for study of a certain topic or passages of the Bible. We will also provide links to the internet sites where the pictures of the paintings and comments of others may be found, and perhaps make my own observations. My Sunday School class loved the study. Hilah and I hope you enjoy it, also. The art could help reveal some universal truths that are not exclusive to Christianity. It hopefully will invite a dialogue with others of various religious, cultural, and educational backgrounds.