What Are Your Favorite Examples of Biblically Inspired Art? by Adam Gopnik


I think that of all the works of art that have been inspired by the, by the biblical stories, certainly, and will show you what absolutely middle brow taste I have, the two greatest are, inarguably, the Sistine ceiling of Michelangelo, and Handel’s Messiah, which I mentioned before.  Which again is as close to a perfect work of religious art as you could ever have in exactly the sense that it is utterly democratic, it’s something that Welsh miners sing in those mass choirs in the north of England or in Wales; uh, and is also as, uh, stands alongside Bach or Mozart or Beethoven as a complete work of, of a musical expression.  So, listening, have they ever performed the Messiah in the Sistine Chapel?  I wonder if they ever have, but that would be a very high, that would be a very high moment, and it seems to me that, uh, those two things certainly stand for the summit of the art inspired by the Bible.

Show Full Transcript


Adam Gopnik

Adam Gopnik
Writer, The New Yorker

Adam Gopnik is a staff writer for The New Yorker  magazine. His recent books of essays include Paris to the Moon (2000) and Through the Children’s Gate (2006). 

 NEH Logo
Bible Odyssey has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.