Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Rejection of Cain's Sacrifice

I've been very busy with my little girl over the past few weeks. She's an absolute delight! Even though she's only three months old, I've been having a lot of fun reading with her. Before she was born, my husband and I bought a copy of Tomie dePaola's Book of Bible Stories. It has fantastic pictures that really capture her interest (and the stories are short, so she doesn't have trouble staying focused). At any rate, the other day I read her the story of Cain and Abel. Yikes! It's easy to forget how gory some of these stories were! I was sort of glad that she was too little to have any idea what it was about. Nevertheless, I found myself trying to explain to my infant why people do mean things, though I had a bit tougher time telling her why God was not that impressed with Cain's vegetarian sacrifice. Welcome to motherhood, I suppose! What happens when she can actually ask questions?

Anyway, today I came across this 1842 sketch by John Millais of the Rejection of Cain's Sacrifice. Millais was just 13 years old when he produced this! Even at this early age, you can see the talent Millais possessed. I love how he's drawn Cain's cloak blowing in the wind and the smoke billowing up towards heaven (notice the pious looking Abel in the background). You can see a lot more of the details in the painting if you visit it at the Birmingham Art Gallery's online gallery. Be sure to check it out!


The Nightwatchman said...

Cain and Abel story is good example of agricultural vs. pastoral than is a constant theme in the Bible.

If you can get a copy of this book - Hebrew Myths.

Robert Graves and his colleague venture through the stories as Graves did with the Greek Myths (another great read).

M.Kate said...

Your daughter will grow up to be an avid reader. I read with my children when they were little, and now, the only thing that interest them are bookstores :) Happy week ahead Margaret, enjoy your beautiful daughter..hugs/m

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