Photo courtesy of Rizzoli International

God tests Abraham (Genesis 22:1–19) in this collage of three scenes from a German-Jewish prayerbook dating to the 1290s. Leaving behind an ass and two servants, in the lower half of this illumination, Abraham leads his son Isaac, upper left, to the place of sacrifice. As Abraham wields a sword (instead of the biblical knife) to carry out the Lord’s command to sacrifice Isaac, an angel (upper right) stops him and points to a substitute, a ram caught in a thicket. In a half-hearted attempt to adhere to the putative proscription against representation of human figures, the artist has omitted the eyes. The Hebrew text above the picture entreats God for mercy and salvation in remembrance of Abraham’s faithfulness.