Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, Moses Receiving the Tablets of the Law

Israel and the Law (continued)

In Israel and the Law, Sargent reworked the conventional Christian version of the iconography of the lawgiving on Mount Sinai. An example of the conventional representation appears in this illustration by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, taken from a 19th-century Bible in pictures. This image resembles several known to Sargent, including two that he had seen in Vatican buildings. The lawgiving, in its standard form, depicts Moses on a mountain receiving tablets of stone from a God who appears on a cloud, surrounded by trumpeting angels. Such representations frequently show the face of God.
Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld,
Moses Receiving the Tablets of the Law,
detail, wood engraving,
from Die Bibel in Bildern, Leipzig, 1860
The Triumph of Religion