Jaca Book

The poignant obedience of Abraham and Isaac to God’s instruction suffuses this painting by Marc Chagall, the great Russian artist, who died at his home in France in March at the age of 97. The angel of the lord reaches down to halt the sacrifice; to the left Sarah waits beside the ram sent by God to replace her son on the wooden altar.

Never far from the dreams and memories of his Russian childhood, Chagall includes, upper right, some of the villagers of Vitebsk. But, in their midst, Jesus is portrayed with the cross, suggesting that the Jewish painter found, as have many others, some theological relationship between the attempted sacrifice of Isaac and the crucifixion of Jesus.