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Martin O'Kane
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1 and 2 Kings: A Visual Commentary

Published: Mar 2023
£70.00
In this uniquely conceived and brilliantly illustrated book, Martin OKane, one of the leading experts internationally on biblical art, turns his attention to the narratives of 1 and 2 Kings. Here we encounter a large and varied cast of characters, men and women whose lives are portrayed imaginatively, ranging from exotic kings and queens and flamboyant prophets to lowly servants and other insignificant functionaries. Readers meet individuals of all ages, from the old and wise to the young and foolish, saints and sinners alike. Many of these characters, and the stories in which they appear, play a prominent part in the religious traditions and cultural worlds of three major faiths—Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Interpreted according to each faith’s distinctive norms, they are popular subjects not only in the literature but also in the rich iconographies of the three religions. 1 and 2 Kings: A Visual Commentary has the form of a commentary that focuses on the interpretation of characters and stories from the books of Kings in the visual cultures of the three monotheistic faiths. In each chapter, the first section sets out the most distinctive interpretations and appropriations of the biblical story. The second section interprets how the story has been received and interpreted in Jewish, Christian and Islamic literature. The final section presents how characters or episodes from Kings appear in the characteristic art of these three worlds. With its over one hundred full-colour images, from Christian mediaeval manuscripts and Persian and Ottoman miniature paintings to contemporary Jewish art, the volume shows why stories from 1–2 Kings feature so prominently in the artistic and cultural worlds the three religions have helped to shape. Scholars, students and Bible readers in general will find something new and something delightful on every page of this unusually engaging work.
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Add to Wishlist

1 and 2 Kings: A Visual Commentary

£70.00
In this uniquely conceived and brilliantly illustrated book, Martin OKane, one of the leading experts internationally on biblical art, turns his attention to the narratives of 1 and 2 Kings. Here we encounter a large and varied cast of characters, men and women whose lives are portrayed imaginatively, ranging from exotic kings and queens and flamboyant prophets to lowly servants and other insignificant functionaries. Readers meet individuals of all ages, from the old and wise to the young and foolish, saints and sinners alike. Many of these characters, and the stories in which they appear, play a prominent part in the religious traditions and cultural worlds of three major faiths—Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Interpreted according to each faith’s distinctive norms, they are popular subjects not only in the literature but also in the rich iconographies of the three religions. 1 and 2 Kings: A Visual Commentary has the form of a commentary that focuses on the interpretation of characters and stories from the books of Kings in the visual cultures of the three monotheistic faiths. In each chapter, the first section sets out the most distinctive interpretations and appropriations of the biblical story. The second section interprets how the story has been received and interpreted in Jewish, Christian and Islamic literature. The final section presents how characters or episodes from Kings appear in the characteristic art of these three worlds. With its over one hundred full-colour images, from Christian mediaeval manuscripts and Persian and Ottoman miniature paintings to contemporary Jewish art, the volume shows why stories from 1–2 Kings feature so prominently in the artistic and cultural worlds the three religions have helped to shape. Scholars, students and Bible readers in general will find something new and something delightful on every page of this unusually engaging work.
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Bible, Art, Gallery

Published: Sep 2011
£50.00
While Old Masters' paintings of biblical scenes held by major galleries in many countries are visited and seen by thousands, gems of biblical art in smaller, provincial galleries seldom get the recognition and attention they deserve. Over two years, assisted by funding from the British Academy, conferences were held at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, and at the Manchester Art Gallery, highlighting some of the significant biblical paintings held in the collections of both galleries. The papers presented at these conferences, drawn from the worlds of biblical studies, art history, philosophy, sociology and music, and collected in this volume, reflect the interdisciplinary goals of the project. These essays serve not only to showcase biblical paintings by lesser known artists but also to illustrate the wide range of perspectives and insights brought by the different academic disciplines.
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Bible, Art, Gallery

£50.00
While Old Masters' paintings of biblical scenes held by major galleries in many countries are visited and seen by thousands, gems of biblical art in smaller, provincial galleries seldom get the recognition and attention they deserve. Over two years, assisted by funding from the British Academy, conferences were held at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, and at the Manchester Art Gallery, highlighting some of the significant biblical paintings held in the collections of both galleries. The papers presented at these conferences, drawn from the worlds of biblical studies, art history, philosophy, sociology and music, and collected in this volume, reflect the interdisciplinary goals of the project. These essays serve not only to showcase biblical paintings by lesser known artists but also to illustrate the wide range of perspectives and insights brought by the different academic disciplines.
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Painting the Text: The Artist as Biblical Interpreter

Published: Dec 2009
£18.50£45.00
In this masterly work, Martin O'Kane shows artists at work as readers of the Bible and not simply as illustrators of biblical scenes. The painter's eye commonly sees nuances and subtleties of plot and characterization in the biblical text that traditional biblical criticism has overlooked. Focussing in fine detail on some well-known biblical themes--the deception of Isaac, the depiction of Isaiah's suffering servant, the visit of the Magi and the flight into Egypt, among others--O'Kane argues that modern readers need the artist's exegetical insight and engagement to fully appreciate the text. Ranging widely over mediaeval, Renaissance and modern art, the author situates his work within the hermeneutical aesthetics of Hans-Georg Gadamer, Mieke Bal and Paolo Bernini. Some 30 images are reproduced in the text.
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Painting the Text: The Artist as Biblical Interpreter

£18.50£45.00
In this masterly work, Martin O'Kane shows artists at work as readers of the Bible and not simply as illustrators of biblical scenes. The painter's eye commonly sees nuances and subtleties of plot and characterization in the biblical text that traditional biblical criticism has overlooked. Focussing in fine detail on some well-known biblical themes--the deception of Isaac, the depiction of Isaiah's suffering servant, the visit of the Magi and the flight into Egypt, among others--O'Kane argues that modern readers need the artist's exegetical insight and engagement to fully appreciate the text. Ranging widely over mediaeval, Renaissance and modern art, the author situates his work within the hermeneutical aesthetics of Hans-Georg Gadamer, Mieke Bal and Paolo Bernini. Some 30 images are reproduced in the text.
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