The Bible, which comprises the canonical books of the Old and New Testament, constituted not only the basis for the Christian faith but also for Christian art. Popular Old Testament themes in Coptic art include the Sacrifice of Abraham and particularly Joseph, the son of the Prophet Jacob to name a few. New Testament images often illustrate the miracles of Jesus such as the raising of Lazarus and the healing of a blind man. Illustrations of biblical stories can be found in all art forms and areas of life. They are depicted not only in books, but also on the walls of churches and monasteries, and objects of personal piety. Biblical stories were even worn as decorations on garments.
This illumination of a Psalmody, a collection of liturgical chants, depicts Adam and Eve after their fall among the rich flora and fauna of Paradise. 18th century.
One of the preferred motifs in Coptic art is the Old Testament story of the Three Hebrews in the Fiery Furnace, which is depicted in this richly ornamented Psalmody. Above them hovers an angel sent by God to rescue them. 18th century.
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