Biblical Art

Biblical art refers to the art of the Holy Lands, and includes samples from Sabean, Phoenician, Canaanite, Nabatean, and Israelite cultures amongst others.  The earliest Chalcolithic artifacts date from the 4th millennia BC, with large helpings of Bronze age, Iron age, and Hellenistic period items to follow.  The collection caps off centuries later with a variety of Roman period artifacts, vessels and oil lamps.  Considerable chunks of this collection are comprised of these small trade goods such as oil lamps, and terracotta vessels, however many formidable and rare items grace it as well from stunning basalt lintels to instantly recognizable Sabean grave stele.  Spanning over 4500 years, these biblical artifacts provide a wonderfully tangible context to the countless stories many grew up with.  Whether it be a Herodian period oil lamp, a glass vessel from the time of Christ, or a small Philistine figurine, often those raised in the Western tradition can easily grasp the flavor of these pieces without hesitation.   That’s because these artistic creations fit so comfortably within the all too familiar narrative of the bible and its characters.  Was this a lamp that perhaps once provided light for a small gathering of disciples… or was this small ointment jar used to clean the feet of Jesus himself?  The possibilities are both tempting and endless, and quite tangible for good reason.  Even if the specific item were not used by a particular character or luminary, surely something exactly like it was, and that is enough to send the wheels of imagination spinning and the wings of our heart aloft.  Items such as these spark the imagination to a time we learn and read so much about, but rarely receive a palpable glimpse into.  The Barakat Gallery welcomes you to immerse yourself in this rich tradition and bring the dusty pages of history to life.