The Holy Bible, According to the Authorized Version [. . .] under the Direction of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, for the Use of Families. Vol. 1 of two.
Oxford: The Clarendon Press, by Bensley, Cooke, and Collingwood, 1817.
This Clarendon Press Bible was one of many nineteenth-century Bibles illustrated with engravings copied after famous old master paintings. Such editions elevated the artistic dignity of the biblical images and disseminated knowledge of the canonical works of Christian art to millions of readers who otherwise would never see the originals.
The exhibited engraved plate depicting the Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise (Genesis 3:21) was based on one of fifty-two Old Testament scenes that the Renaissance artist Raphael (1483–1520) designed in 1518 for the frescoes of the “Vatican Loggias” at the Palazzi Pontifici in Rome. Reproduced by many printmakers over the centuries, Raphael’s compositions were considered essential artworks of the Christian canon.
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