Press Releases

Biblical Stories are Revealed in Strokes of a Master Painter’s Brush

Published: Aug 19, 2019

Posted In: Press Releases

Museum of the Bible will open a new temporary exhibition entitled Picture Books of the Past: Reading an Old Master Painting on Saturday, August 24. Featuring over 60 Old Master paintings from the Museum & Gallery at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC, the exhibition will display how the church used pictures as a tool to convey biblical stories and religious instruction. The exhibit will be housed in Gallery 506 and will run until September 30, 2020.


The term “Old Masters” refers to well-known painters working in Europe between the 14th and 19th century. Grounded in church tradition, these artists created a shared visual language in which ordinary objects held deep religious symbolism. Repetition of these iconographic images gave the viewer clues to identify the characters, settings and stories depicted in the paintings.


“It is important to read, analyze and interpret images. Understanding how people of the past used images to communicate profound ideas can help viewers move beyond the idea of images as entertainment (e.g., TV, gaming) to images as meaningful constructs,” said Erin Jones, executive director of the Museum & Gallery. “A thorough understanding can also help with interpreting visual propaganda so common in our culture today.”


Curators of the exhibit are Amy Van Dyke, lead curator of art and exhibitions at Museum of the Bible, Erin Jones, executive director of the Museum & Gallery at Bob Jones University, and Donnalynn Hess, director of education at Museum & Gallery at Bob Jones University. Paintings featured include: Carlo Dolci’s Madonna and Child, Lorenzo di Niccolo di Martino’s The Holy Trinity, Tintoretto’s The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon, Gerrit van Honthorst’sThe Holy Family in the Carpenter Shop, and Allegory on the Fall and Redemption of Man by Lucas Cranach the Younger. For more information and select images, click here


Museum of the Bible is an innovative, global, educational institution whose purpose is to invite all people to engage with the history, narrative and impact of the Bible.


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