Abraham and the Three Angels

Abraham and the Three Angels

Simeon Solomon

Wood engraving by the Dalziels [1862].

6 7/8 x 5¼ inches

Alex Foley, Art Pictures from the Old Testament, p.17.

This illustration depicts the scene from Genesis, xviii: 1–16, when ‘three men’, ‘strangers’ or ‘angels’ come to tell Abraham that he will have a son by Sarah. The image typifies Solomon’s economical showing of the narrative, with a prime emphasis on the exchange of meaningful glances and the delicate touching of hands. The artist creates a strong contrast between Abraham’s wizened face and the idealised beauty of the guests’ faces, and between the homely costume of the earthly character and the shimmering robes of the divines. Viewed stylistically, the illustration is poised between neo-classicism and Pre-Raphaelitism.

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