J. Stern

Pensive studies of the matriarchs Rachel (see study of Rachel), and Leah (shown here) by Israeli artist Jossi (Joseph) Stern seem to mirror Genesis 29:16, 17: “…Laban had two daughters: the elder was called Leah, and the younger Rachel. Leah was dull-eyed, but Rachel was graceful and beautiful.”

Unloved by her husband Jacob, Leah nevertheless bore him six sons. Rachel, denied her place as Jacob’s first wife, gave birth to his favored son Joseph, and to Benjamin, his 12th and last son.

Stern, who lives in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, uses modern-day Israelis as models for his portraits of biblical figures collected in a volume called The People of the Book (Tyndale, 1971).