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5 Pieces of Art from Chicago

5 Minutes in Church History with Stephen Nichols

Ligonier Ministries

Religion & Spirituality, Christianity, History

4.81.6K Ratings

🗓️ 31 January 2024

⏱️ 5 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


Throughout history, many painters have chosen biblical themes as the subject for their artwork. Today, Stephen Nichols describes five paintings that are housed at the Art Institute of Chicago.

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Welcome back to another episode of Five Minutes and Church history. On this episode we are traveling to Chicago to spend some time at the Art Institute of Chicago and look in particular at five paintings from that famous art museum.


The first is entitled Milton dictating to his daughter.


This was painted by Henry Fusily.


In the 1790s, he started a series of paintings around Milton and specifically on Milton's classic text Paradise Lost.


Milton was blind when he wrote Paradise Lost and he dictated the words to his daughter who then wrote them down and the poem was published.


In Fusil's painting, Milton's daughter is bathed in light as she writes the words from her father and Milton himself, blind, is in darkness.


The second painting takes us to a biblical moment.


It is by the artist Felipe Jacques a biblical


Jock de Lotherburg and it is entitled


The Destruction of Pharaoh's Army.


I was stunned when I saw this painting. It is breathtaking. And what is fascinating about


it is the depiction of Moses. He looks like a fierce commander and leader of any army. But of course what is more


important is what is looming over Moses's head and it is in the clouds and it is light coming through the clouds and it is a


depiction of God who is the one who indeed brought forth the destruction of Pharaoh's army.


We'll stay with biblical themes for the third painting.


This one is entitled The Denial of St. Peter. It is by Hendrik Tur Bruegen. And if you're


guessing, yes, he is Dutch. He was born at 1588 and he died in 1629. And this painting also has a play of light and shadow. In the far background, you can barely make out the arrest of Jesus and in the


foreground there are two figures. There's Peter and there is the young


made and the center is a fire and the fire illuminates the hand of this young made with her


pointing condemnatory finger at Peter after his denial of Jesus.


That dark moment in Peter's life


as depicted in the pages of scripture


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