Scala/Art Resource, New York, NY

Biblical “high noon.” Moses, with an olive-green robe and white beard, appears three times in The Destruction of Korah by Sandro Botticelli (1445–1510). The Sistine Chapel fresco depicts three episodes from the Korahite rebellion described in Numbers 16. At right, rock-bearing rebels led by Korah, Dathan and Abiram rise against the authority of Moses and Aaron. Moses bids them to gather before the Tent of Meeting with their censers filled with burning incense. The climactic confrontation appears at center. Gathered around a well-like altar, the rebels recoil before the power of the Lord, which Moses seems to call down upon them with his upraised rod. Aaron, to the right of Moses, swings a censer in the background. At the far left, “the earth open[s] its mouth and swallow[s] them up with their households” (Numbers 16:32) as Moses stands over them. The painting’s anachronistic centerpiece is the Arch of Constantine in Rome. The emperor Constantine erected this triumphal arch in 312–315 A.D. to commemorate his victory at Milvian Bridge, a victory he attributed to the assistance of Jesus.