Moses Mining Water from a Rock by Filippino Lippi

Moses Mining Water from a Rock by Filippino Lippi

The book of books, that is, the Holy Scripture – the Bible, which is divided into two unequal and stylistically uneven parts – the Old and New Testament, is replete with stories about various kinds of miracles performed by God’s people, the prophets, and, of course, Jesus Christ himself – the son of God.

In the New Testament there are many references to the Old. Thus, both parts seem to close together, forming a single fanciful whole, a story about the history of the emergence of mankind, his fall, wars, and much more. Thus, the analogue of the commandments of Moses is the Sermon on the Mount of Jesus. In one of the first books of the Old Testament, it is reported that the Israeli people, tired after spending many days wandering in the desert, became hungry for rest, shelter, food and drink.

The Lord showed a miracle and gave people life-giving moisture – it was only Moses to hit the staff on the rock. This event is recreated in the painting by the Italian artist Lippi Filippino. A strange impression leaves this canvas. Nothing says anything about the desert: the landscape is densely populated by people, and there are plenty of trees everywhere too.

The characters themselves are also very faintly reminiscent of the ancient Jews: here are a couple of secular ladies talking, here are the elders in turbans, here is the livestock walking right there among the people. And in the lower right corner someone swells a samovar at all. On the left are the tents, on the right is still suitable people. No, what a barren desert here! The artist clearly painted his contemporaries and did not even try to hide it very much. So before us is a sample of stylization, a certain popular print in Italian.

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