Alinari, Art Resource, NY

In the Book of Genesis, God tests Abraham’s loyalty by commanding him to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac. Abraham binds his son, sets him on an altar, and raises a knife to kill the boy, but “the angel of the Lord” calls to him: “Do not lay your hand upon the boy … for now I know that you fear God.” This moment is vividly rendered by the Italian painter Bernardino Fungai (1460‒1516), who portrays an innocent ram that will be “offered up as a burnt offering” instead of Isaac.