Leonard Bernstein (1918 –1990)

He was one of the first American composers born and trained in the United States. Perhaps his best-known music is the musical, West Side Story. He was also well known as a pianist and a lecturer, He was one of the first conductors to perform the work of Charles Ives, who had composed some 50 years earlier.

A Jew, he is perhaps best known in liturgical music for his Mass.
Bernstein Mass – Interview with Marin Alsop

“Sanctus-Agnus Dei-Things Get Broken-Secret Songs”

Things Get Broken -Lords Prayer

Simple Song

Gospel-Sermon: “God Said”

“Epistle”

“Sanctus”

“Qui tollis peccata mundi”

See, also, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hf83JiQZF5U

 

Links to my site:

Introduction https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/introduction/

Graphic Arts https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/i-graphic-arts/

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Other Stories of Moses

Numbers further accounts for the wanderings of the Israelites under the leadership of Moses, with details that are not found in Exodus.  For example,  did you remember that at one point in the desert the people began to stone Moses and Aaron?  Numbers 16:1-5; 16-21; 28-35 tells us that Korah rebelled against Moses, and was punished for his rebellion the earth opens and swallowed all the rebels.  Some Israelites of the Dathan and Abiram clans object to Moses for the punishment of Korah.  God then commands Moses to depart from the multitude and God  smites 14,700 men with plague, as punishment for their objection.

The Punishment of Korah and the Stoning of Moses and Aaron BOTTICELLI (1481-1482)

See http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Botticcelli,_Sandro_-_The_Punishment_of_Korah_and_the_Stoning_of_Moses_and_Aaron_-_1481-82.jpg for the source of the photograph of the above painting.

The Brazen Serpent MICHELANGELO (1511)

See http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/m/michelan/3sistina/5spandre/10_4pe4.html for the source of the above photograph of the frescoe in the Sistine Chapel.

Scenes from the Life of Moses BOTTICELLII (1445 – 1510)

See http://www.artbible.info/art/large/662.html for the source of the above photograph of the fresco and a description.

Links to my site:

Introduction https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/introduction/

Graphic Arts https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/i-graphic-arts/

Architecture https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/ii-church-architecture-and-its-incorporation-of-art/

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At Sinai, The Mountain of God

At Sinai, The Mountain of God

Exodus 19 tells us that Moses and the Israelites went into the Sinai Desert and approached Mount Sanai, the Mountain where God would descend to talk with Moses and give him the tablets of law.

Mount Sinai EL GRECO (1541-1614)

See http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/g/greco_el/03/0303grec.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting.  El Greco had his own unique style in which he anticipated aspects of Van Gogh, Cezanne, Abstract art and Expressionism,and yet he reflects his own time transitioning to the Baroque dramatic use of light and form.

Moses ascends the mountain and is given the Ten Commandments and the rest of the law.  Exodus 20-31.

Moses With the Tables of the Law RENI (c. 1624)

See http://www.friendsofart.net/en/art/guido-reni/moses-with-the-tables-of-the-law for the source of the above photograph of the painting.

Moses is gone so long that the people grow wrestless.  Again, they complain.  They backslide into idolatry, building for themselves a golden calf to worship.  Exodus 32.

Worship of the Golden Calf FRANCKEN II (Early Seventeenth Century)

See http://www.lib-art.com/artgallery/10270-worship-of-the-golden-calf-frans-ii-francken.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting.  For an interesting story about the ambiguity of the person of Francken II, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francken.

Moses and the Golden Calf BECCAFUMI (1486-1551)

See http://www.terminartors.com/artworkprofile/Beccafumi_Domenico_di_Pace-Moses_and_the_Golden_Calf for the source of the above photograph of the painting.

Moses Smashing the Tablets of the Law REMBRANDT (1659)

See http://www.wikigallery.org/wiki/painting_223626/Rembrandt-Van-Rijn/Moses-Smashing-the-Tablets-of-the-Law for the source of the above photograph of the painting.

Moses and the Tablets of the Law CHAGALL (1887-1985)

See http://www.spaightwoodgalleries.com/Pages/Chagall_Exodus.html for the source of the above photograph of the lithograph.  See http://www.spaightwoodgalleries.com/Pages/Chagall_coming_attractions.html for a summary of the work and artistic significance of Chagall.

Moses Shows the Elders the Tablets of the Law CHAGALL

See http://www.biblical-art.com/artwork.asp?id_artwork=22831&showmode=Full for the source of the above photograph of the lithograph.

See http://smarthistory.khanacademy.org/michelangelo-moses for Michalengelo’s Moses and expert commentary on the relation of the subject of these paintings:  Moses and the Ten Commandments.

Links to my site:

Introduction https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/introduction/

Graphic Arts https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/i-graphic-arts/

Architecture https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/ii-church-architecture-and-its-incorporation-of-art/

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Theology https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iv-theology/

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The Jews in the Desert

Exodus 16 tells us that after their second deliverance from Pharaoh, the Israelites enter the desert.  They are hungry and immediately they begin to complain, yet again, in verse 3:

“Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

The Gathering of the Manna  BOUTS (ca. 1410/1420-1475)

See http://www.lib-art.com/artgallery/7575-the-gathering-of-the-manna-dieric-the-elder-bouts.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting.  What is the figure seeming to kindly look down upon the Jews from a luminous break in the clouds?  Jesus?  God?  What was Bout’s purpose in including it in the painting?

The Jews in the Desert TINTORETTO (1518,-1594)

See http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/t/tintoret/5_1580s/2desert.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting and an analysis.

Jews Gathering the Manna in the Desert POUSSIN (1594-1665)

See http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Poussin,_Nicolas_-_The_Jews_Gathering_the_Manna_in_the_Desert_-1637_-_1639.jpg for the source of the above photograph of the painting.

Exodus 17:3 tells us that the people became thirsty and again complain:

“And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?”

 Moses Striking the Rock BASSANO (1557-1622)

See http://www.terminartors.com/artworkprofile/Bassano_Leandro-Moses_Striking_the_Rock for the source of the photograph of the painting.

Moses Drawing Water from the Rock TINTORETTI (1577)

See http://www.lib-art.com/artgallery/39994-moses-drawing-water-from-the-rock-tintoretto.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting.

Links to my site:

Introduction https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/introduction/

Graphic Arts https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/i-graphic-arts/

Architecture https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/ii-church-architecture-and-its-incorporation-of-art/

Music https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iii-music/

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Crossing the Red Sea

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.

Links to my site:

Introduction https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/introduction/

Graphic Arts https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/i-graphic-arts/

Architecture https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/ii-church-architecture-and-its-incorporation-of-art/

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Exodus from Egypt

The message Moses gets from the burning bush is to go back to Egypt and, with his brother Aaron, to take the children of Israel, the Jews, out of Egypt.  It takes ten plagues, the first nine of which “God causes” Pharaoh’s heart to harden (this is one place where one must be wary of too literal an interpretation – how fair would it be to punish one for matters which were beyond the control of that person?); but after the tenth, resulting in the death of the first born of all living things except those with the blood of the pascall lamb painted on the door posts of the dwelling, including the death of Pharaoh’s own child, his heart is broken, at least for a moment, and he wants the Jews out of Egypt.  Exodus chapters 4-13.

God Turns Moses’ Staff Into a Serpent CHAGALL (1887-1985)

See http://www.spaightwoodgalleries.com/Pages/Chagall_Exodus.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting.

The Fifth Plague of Egypt TURNER (1775 – 1851)

See http://www.artbible.info/art/large/533.html for the above photograph of the painting and a brief description.  There aren’t a lot of art masterpieces of the various plagues, but Turner, who later developed into a well-known English “painter of light” and water color artist of landscapes in the Romantic period, finds the subject to be a wonderful opportunity to paint a dramatic, tumultuos landscape.

The Tenth Plague of Egypt TURNER

See http://www.artbible.info/art/large/588.html for the above photograph of the painting and a brief description.

Exodus CHAGALL

See http://www.abcgallery.com/C/chagall/chagall121.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting.

Links to my site:

Introduction https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/introduction/

Graphic Arts https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/i-graphic-arts/

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The Burning Bush

For some time, Moses was content to tend the sheep of his father-in-law, Jethro.  One day, while doing so on “the mountain of God,” he saw a bush that was engulfed in fire but was not consumed.  Exodus 3.

Moses before the Burning Bush FETI (ca. 1613-14)

 See http://www.lib-art.com/artgallery/5513-moses-before-the-burning-bush-domenico-feti.html for the source of theabove photograph of the painting.

Moses at the Burning Bush REMBRANDT (1606 – 1669)

See http://www.artbible.info/art/large/112.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting and a brief description.

Moses at the Burning Bush BLAKE (1757-1827)

See http://www.william-blake.org/Moses-and-the-Burning-Bush-large.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting; see  http://orth-transfiguration.org/library/scripture/exodus3.1_6/ for an excellent and in-depth analysis of it.

Exodus: Moses and the burning bush CHAGALL (1966)

See http://www.spaightwoodgalleries.com/Pages/Chagall_Exodus.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting.

The Burning Bush DALI (1904- 1989)

See http://www.artbible.net/1T/Exo0211_Escape_call/images/20%20DALI%2016%20A%20FLAME%20OF%20FIRE%20OF%20MIDST%20A%20BUSH.JPG.jpg for the source of the above photograph of the painting.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvador_Dal%C3%AD for an entertaining biography.

One of the reasons I like so much the story of Moses and the burning bush is the depth of meaning that I have gained, beyond the identity of the Divine, as the message of God from the bush to Moses is represented by the King James Version: “I Am.”  That has led to a Christian notion that God is, was and will remain the same.   I am afraid that we have killed God so we can KNOW the God that we worship, “as revealed in the Bible.”

In his book, Ye Shall Be as Gods,  Eric Fromm introduced me in the late 60’s to the dynamic meaning and experience of the Hebrew word, Yahweh: rather than present, I Am, it is the imperfect form of the Hebrew verb “to be.”  More accurately it means that God lives: “I am becoming.”  From that notion came the Jews’ various descriptions of God, including the “Living God” and the “Nameless God.”  The story of the bush on that sacred mountain is inextricably bound with the Ten Commandments that, not much later, issued from “the hand of God” on that same “Mountain of God,” which, consistent with the notion of the Living God, unmistakably rejects idolatry.  God is neither a manmade object, as an idol of bronze, nor even a Golden Calf.  That is easy enough to understand insofar as material objects are made by human hands, yet worshipped as having trans-human powers.   Even more pernicious is the God of anthropomorphic proportions, as divined by the mind, yet the products of human minds and handwriting, resulting in the Bible, which has come to us after much collecting, editing, revising, rejecting, canonizing, un-canonizing and re-canonizing; and through that process, continuing to this very day, it continues to be translated, transliterated and interpreted.  But, Eric Fromm, and, indeed, the Bible, itself, makes it clear that God is not to be objectified.

God is not to be defined, nor, by necessary implication, to be contained in a book bounded, with two covers, one emblazoned with the title, Holy Bible.   Although one of its two creation stories tells us that mankind was created in the image of “us gods,” God is much more than our anthropomorphized Man-Writ-Large.  This revelation of Fromm has opened to me the wonder in this world of the sacred, of its becoming.  It is not static; it is evolving.  “When I consider the work of thy hand,” I am awe-struck that all of the world, all life with it, is infused with the sacred.”

Links to my site:

Introduction https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/introduction/

Graphic Arts https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/i-graphic-arts/

Architecture https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/ii-church-architecture-and-its-incorporation-of-art/

Music https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iii-music/

Theology https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iv-theology/

Home Page https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/