OLD TESTAMENT PREFIGURES  [3]

1. Varland

2. Umbach

3. Unknown

Cain and Abel

Roger Varland, American

Photograph, 2003

19 x 13

 

Upon first glance at this photograph one only sees two sets of feet, but the title, Cain and Able, immediately sets us on a search for its meaning. Abel is pictured with only his feet face down in the sand, while the feet of Cain are firmly planted in the soil, ready to move. Varland has found a very aresting and profound way to portray the relationship of these two brothers while revealing sin and guilt.

Sacrifice of Isaac

Jonas Umbach

1624 - 1693

German

Etching from The Passion

122 mm x 76 mm

 

This delicately lined etching of the Sacrifice of Isaac dramatizes the moment Abraham becomes aware of the angel. Umbach is obviously influenced by Rembrandt’s Abraham and Isaac (1632) but gives his only personal more lyrical touch to the scene.

Abraham and Isaac

Unknown artist

Italian

1800s??

Pen and Ink on paper

 

This dramatic pen and ink drawing is filled with action and movement. God hovers in the sky above with a group of angels and looks down to Abraham who seems to have been frightened by the voice from above. He turns and looks upward while Isaac lies prostrate below an altar exhausted from what has taken place. Fire is burning on the altar and the head of a lamb or ram is only barely visible.

GOOD SHEPHERD  [16]

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Good Shepherd

Unknown, Philippines, wood carving

 

This unknown folk Pilipino artist obviously had seen a picture of the 4th century Good Shepherd in the Vatican’s Pio Christian Museum. The sculpture has more condensed dimensions, but lovingly reflects the traditional image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd.

Good Shepherd

Watanabe Sadao 1914 - 1996

Japanese

washi

1977

20.5 x 17

 

 

 

It is unusual for Watanabe to have used the washi technique for a larger print, but in this piece he so beautifully portrayed Jesus as shepherd tenderly holding a lamb in his arms. From the background we know he placed the shepherd near a stream with trees and flowers growing all around. The lamb and the face of Jesus are a brilliant white and the rest of the picture uses a only a washed out blue and a bit of a quiet red.

Psalm XX111

Sandra Bowden

Collagraph mixed media

1990

30 x 22

 

This dramatic pen and ink drawing is filled with action and movement. God hovers in the sky above with a group of angels and looks down to Abraham who seems to have been frightened by the voice from above. He turns and looks upward while Isaac lies prostrate below an altar exhausted from what has taken place. Fire is burning on the altar and the head of a lamb or ram is only barely visible.

Where is the Shepherd?

Sue Coe (1951 -)

British/American

1991

Etching

15 x 8.5

 

Behind the mass of sheep crammed together in the foreground of this are factories and smokestacks with the smoke of polution, but the artists asks ‘Where is the Shepherd?” A poingnant question indeed to us who are Christians. Where is there evidence of Christ in the midst of a wold filled with problems?

 

Sue Coe is one of the most important politically oriented artists living in the U.S. today, raising difficult questions. Amid the mass of sheep stretching to the horizon where clouds of smoke rise from distant factories, the artist asks, “Where is the Good Shepherd”?

Jesus as Shepherd

Viera Hlonikova

1922 ? -

Solvakian 1987

Block print with hand coloring

14 x 12

 

Hlonikova’s woodcuts remind us of stained glass and Eastern European glass painting with the heavy black outline around the figures. The artist has borrowed from classical and early christian iconography for the shepherd carrying the lost lamb. It is interesting to note that this print was created during the time of Communist rule in Slovakia.

Good Shepherd

Hristo Naidenov

Bulgaria

Etching

11.5 x 7.5 cm plate

 

This is an original Ex Libris bookplate etching which was created as a family identity to be placed on the inside of a book for their personal library.

Good Shepherd Holy Card

Unknown

Argentina

Lithograph

4 3/8 x 2 3/8 inches

 

In Catholic circles it was common in the early 20th century to have holy cards that would have been given out on the occasion of a baptism or ordination of a priest. This Holy Card has an interesting take on Jesus as Shepherd: The Lord stands with his arms stretched out to cast a cross form on all the sheep that are In the foreground.

Christ the Good Shepherd

Rudolph Bostic (1942 - )

American

Enamel on cardboard

38.5 x 25

 

I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. -- John 10: 14,15

Lost Sheep

Joan Bohlig (1936 -

American

1990

Etching

6.5 x 6.25

A lone lamb is stranded atop a stone surrounded by thorns waiting for the rescue from its shepherd. Bohlig surrounds the etching with the passage from Isaiah 53, “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way’ and the Lord has laid on him the Iniquity of us all.”

The Lord Is My Shepherd

Unknown

American

Wood

1960s

5 3/8 x 14 1/2

 

This rustic sign was from the hills of North Carolina. The craftsman used a wood burning tool to incise the board with a passage of Scripture that is favorite to many Christians.

I Have Other Sheep

Eric Gill (1882 to 1940)

English

Wood Engraving

1926

3 x 1 5/8 inches

 

The well-known British engraver created many images from the Bible but usually had a varying take on the topic. I Have Other Sheep is no exception. He has chosen a more obscure text from John 10:16 to relate Jesus as shepherd and represented the passage with a ram on the lap of Jesus and two other lambs gathered at his feet.

 

The quote at the bottom of the engraving from Latin Vulgate, ‘et alia oves habeo quae non sunt ex hoc ovili et illas oportet me adducere et vocem mea audient et fiet unum ovile unus pastor.” (I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.)

The Good Shepherd

Moulas, Dimitris

Greek icon

 

This contemporary Greek icon uses an early Christian symbol of a shepherd carrying a lamb over his shoulder. The shepherd moves across the landscape with a flock of sheep nearby and the barren hills in the distance.

The Good Shepherd (3rd Century A.D.)

Sandra Bowden

1943 -

American

Mixed-media with gold leaf

1997

21 x 162

 

This statue of marble is nearly full size and is part of the Early Christian collection in the Vatican Museum. This figure was used in pre-christian times but came to be a beloved symbol of both David and of Christ the Good Shepherd. This drawing on gold leaf is from a series on the history of art and was created by first painting the silhouette in a siena red, then covering that area with an iridescent oil crayon. Next a layer of gold leaf was applied to the surface and as a final stage various implements were used to incise or draw into the surface the line work.

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd

Sandra Bowden

Encaustic mixed media

2013

9 3/8 x 23.5 x 1 3/8"

 

Two pages from Handel’s Messiah are applied onto a large horizontal book that has been permanently fixed in an open position. Then a portion of John Austin Sands Monks’s etching that depicts sheep gathering to be fed is layered onto the musical facsimile to illuminate the Handel’s score.

I Am the Gate for the Sheep

James Qenitin Young,

wood, metal foil

 

 

Good Shepherd

Unknown artist

Haiti

Sycamore Wood

2013

10 x 5 7/8 x 1

 

This Haitian artist has depicted the Good Shepherd tenderly holding a lamb close to his breast and other sheep clustering near the feet of their shepherd.

LAMB OF GOD - AGNUS DEI  [15]

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Sheep and Lamb II

Henry Moore

1896 - 1986

English

etching and drypoint

1972

5 3/4 x 8 1/8

Henry Moore is the pre-eminent English sculptor of the 20th-Century, but he was a master printmaker, creating over 700 prints in his career.

 

While his sculpture studio was being renovated, Moore retreated to a small building set in a field of his estate. Each day sheep from the surrounding farm would come and stare at him while he worked near a window, and from these encounters he filled a sketchbook of drawings, Henry Moore’s Sheep Sketchbook. This etching is the mirror image of one of these sketches. The ewe keeps watch as he lamb stretches to get its mother’s milk.

Pascal Lamb

Carl Buettemeier

Wood Carving

1979

12 x 13 inches

 

 

 

Buffet’s highly styalized drawing technique is readily apparent with each angled line. The Lamb, holding a cross, identifies him as a symbol of Jesus. Two of three crosses are in the distance against the backdrop of hills, and leaning against the closest one is a ladder, suggesting the Crucifixion.

Lamb

Buffet, Bernard

drypoint

 

 

Das Opferlamm

Otto Dix

1891 to 1969

German

Lithograph

1960

Matthaus Evangelium- Martin Luther New Testament) Series

11 1/4 x 9

To portray Jesus as the Lamb of God in his Matthaüs Evangelium suite Otto Dix has borrowed an image from Francisco de Zuberán’s Agnus Dei on view in the Prado in Madrid, Spain. Zuberan’s lamb is tied with his feet below its head, but Otto Dix has reversed the positioning with the lamb’s feet tied above his head—the similaries are otherwise very striking.

Agnus Dei

Tyrus Clutter (1972-

American

linocut

5 x 7

 

The star in the sky behind Tyrus Clutter’s lamb places us at the birth of Chirst. The Lamb is a reminder that Jesus came into the world as a sacrifical lamb to die on a cross.

Beauty of the Lamb

Unknown artist

American

Embroidery  on chasuble

Mid 20th century

12.5 x 9.5 image

 

Another portrayal of the Agnus Dei depicts the lamb bleeding from the area of the heart. Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. Rev. 5:6 This representation symbolizes Jesus' shedding of his blood to take away the sins of the world. The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.  John 1: 29

 

This mid-century purple chasuble would have been used during the Lenten season. The simplified modern design portrays a standing lamb holding a Chi Rho (first two Greek letters of Christ’s name) Cross, and from its side blood flows forth to be collected in a chalice. The artist was searching for a way to picture the source of the blood and the significance of the Eucharist or Communion.

Lambs of the San Luis Valley

Kathy Hettinga 1955 -

American

Accordion book with iris printing

1995/1997

5 1/2 x 5 1/2

 

Lambs of the San Luis Valley, Volume II was photographed, designed printed and bound by Kathy Tolsma Hettinga, 1995/1997.

 

This book was printed on Arches Text, using the font Company’s Caslon Light and Caslon Light Alternative fonts. end sheet papers are Hemp text from Papeteris St. Armand, Montreal, Canada and Thai Natural Tamarind. The book was created with Photoshop and QuarkXPress on a Power Macintosh 7100/80AV, then printed to a Tek Phaser III in a limited edition of 20.

Holy Family with Lamb

Unknown engraver after Raphael painting

1888

Wood engraving

4.25 x 5.5

 

This is an original 1888 black and white wood engraving by Raphael depicting the Holy Family with a lamb. This was a device used by the artist to remind the viewer of the reason that Christ was born into the world…to die as the Sacrificial Lamb, or Lamb of God.

Good Friday

Wayne Roosa

American

Eraser prints

2009

11 x 8 inches

Wayne Roosa writes:

these prints belong to a larger enterprise called, simply, the “eraser prints.”  They were called that initially because each stamp was carved from a large white eraser.  But soon the metaphoric meaning became part of this work.  For while the images are literally made out of objects called “erasers,” the etymology of the verb, “to erase” comes from the Latin for “out” + “to scrape, scratch,” which in some early examples was a variant of “arace,” meaning to “uproot.”

 

In this small print Wayne has placed a standing lamb at the top of the print with a roaring animal ready to devour set in the lower level of the print. Christ is prepared and ready to be sacrificed, a reference to Good Friday.

Adoration of the Lamb, Ghent Altarpiece

Unknown engraver after Hubert and Jan van Eyke

Dutch

Engraving

4.25 x 15 1/8 inches

 

This engraving is a drawing or graphic interpretation of the lower tier of images from the famous Early Flemish polyptych panel painting from the 15th century. The central painting has given the altarpiece its title, Adoration of the Lamb, with several groups in attendance or streaming in to worship the Lamb, and overseen by the Dove of the Holy Spirit.

 

The lamb stands on an altar facing the viewer and is surrounded by 14 angels arranged in a circle, some holding symbols of Christ's Passion, and two swing censers. The lamb has a wound on its breast from which blood gushes into a golden chalice, yet it shows no outward expression of pain, a reference to Christ's sacrifice. On the upper portion of the front of the altar is inscribed with the words taken from John 1:29; ECCE AGNUS DEI QUI TOLLIT PECCATA MUNDI ("Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world").

Without Blemishp

Lori Gregoir (1972-)

American

Lithograph

8.5 x 11 inches

 

 

Lori Gregoire’s Wthout Blemish lithograph of a lamb tied to a limb ready for sacrifice is a visual interpretation of several biblical texts.  First in the book of Exodus 12:5, God tells the Israelites what will be acceptable as an animal sacrifice,  “Your lamb shall be without blemish.” 1 Peter 1:19 says that “It was the precious blook of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.”

Lamb of God Tympanum

Sandra Bowden

American

Colored Photograph

2013

16 x 20

 

This stunning tympanm is at the entrance to the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem. Against a repeated pattern of limestone and within a beaded circle The Lamb of God holds a flag of victory. Lamb of God or Agnus Dei is the title for Jesus that appears in the Gospel of John where John the Baptist sees Jesus and exclaims, “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” John 1:29. Surrounding the head of the lamb is the tri-radiant halo of Jesus denoting him as part of the Trinity. The Lamb of God is also related to the Paschal Lamb of the Passover, which is viewed as foundational and integral to the message of Christianity. This image has its roots in early Christology where the sacrifical lamb rises in victory as the Resurrected Christ, holding a cross and/or a flag of victory.

Scandalous Night

Wayne Forte

American

Etching

2002

8.5 x 11 7/8

 

Wayne Forte portrays the night of Jesus birth as a Scandalous Night, a night when the Savior of the world was born in obscurity surrounded, not by a crowd of people but by a stable full of animals. Spread throught the scene there are a number of sheep, but at the front of the gathering there is a lamb that stretches out his neck to view the Mother and get a glimpse of the Child in a cradle.

 

Historically artists have placed a lamb -- even Rembrandt had a lamb with its feet tied and read for the slaughter -- as a way to remind us of the reason for Christ birth; to be the Sacrificial Lamb at the Crucifixion.

Lamb with Seven Seals

Unknown

French

Gold/Silver appliqué

Late w18th century

9 1/2 x 9 3/8

 

In this embroidery the Lamb of God or Agnus Dei is shown lying atop a book from which seven seals are hanging. This is a reference to the imagery in the Book of Revelation 5:1-13 where the Lamb is described as worthy to open the mysterious seven seals each predict a judgment or an apocalyptic event.

 

A highly dimensional lamb is resting on a book and a cross. The body of the lamb is constructed with tin-like molded parts (heads and leg) and silver bullion that is similar to bright check purl, which are very fine wire threads in a twisted tubular shape.

 

The face and legs of the Lamb are molded silver. The cross is made from a fine, slightly wavy gold thread crossing over the “beams” on the diagonal. The cover of the book itself has been constructed of gold fabric, and the “pages” are gold passing thread, couched on each end and in the middle.

 

The seals drop down from the cover, across the pages, but the rope-like cords are like a twisted thread, hanging from the top of the book to the base, and couched only where they begin and at the base of the book, right above where the seal is connected.

Lamb of God

Ethiopian artist unknown

Egg tempera on leather

c 2010

10 1/4 x 7 1/4

 

This Ethiopian leather panel has a most interesting depiction of the Lamb of God. A lamb curled around a cross recalls the many western images of the Agnus Dei.