How can a still image tell a story?
Picturing stories features paintings and texts displayed together to demonstrate the different ways artists have interpreted the written word.
Western art has traditionally been based on stories. History, literature, myth, legends and religion all served as inspiration for painters. Over the centuries, the Bible especially has proved a rich source for countless artists’ imaginations.
These paintings show scenes from the Old and New Testament as well as apocryphal religious legends.
They are by Dutch and Flemish artists from the 16th and 17th century and represent or suggest religious stories in different ways. Some artworks, such as Jacob’s Deception,focus on one significant moment. Others, like Building the Tower of Babel, depict a whole range of activities taking place simultaneously within a landscape. Veronica’s Veil, a famous icon of Christ,works as a visual symbol that points to a story outside the frame.