Bible-inspired Symbolism in German Art

The fifth art-appreciation lecture from the educational Shape and Meaning, devoted to the German contribution to the visual arts, was given today at the Khatoon-e-Fatima School in Islamabad.

Albrecht Dürer, Study for St Jerome, 1521

The meeting was attended by 148 students and 12 teachers, being the lecture given in English with a simultaneous translation into the Urdu language.

Sister Rukhsana opened the event with prays for everyone in Pakistan. Afterwards Mariano Akerman referred to some German masterpieces and pointed out their biblical sources of inspiraton. He also explained the context in which they were executed and the symbolism they entail.

Mr. Akerman also drew a chronological line on which he included important dates concerning the Holy Scriptures and theis main protagonists.

Ephraim Lilien, "The Covenant of Abraham," Die Bucher der Bible, 1908

Moses leads the Children of Israel through the Red Sea, from The Luther Bible, Germany, c. 1530

Master Heinrich of Constance, The Visitation, c. 1310-20. Polychrome walnut, with gilding and rock crystal cabechons. German sculpture, from Katharienenthal Abbey, Switzerland. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

Stephen Lochner, The Madonna in the Rose Bower (Maria am Rosenhag), 1448. Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne

Significantly, the students also learnt about the Biblical Manuscripts from Qumran (1st century C.E.) and the ivory Pomegranate from King Solomon's Temple (8th century B.C.E. or perhaps conceived even earlier), found at archaeological excavations that once took place in Jerusalem.

Biblical themes were explored via German artworks featuring The Creation, Adam and Eve, The Tower of Babel, Noah's Ark, Abraham contemplating the Stars, Moses and the Children of Israel crossing the Red Sea, The God Prophet, The Annuciation to Mary, The Visitation, The Virgin Mary and Baby Emmanuel, The Three Kings, Mother and Child, The Rose Garden, Young Jesus teaching in the Temple, and Jerusalem as City of Light.

Shape and Meaning: The German Contribution to the Arts, Pakistan 2010

Event brochure

Sister Rukhsana Lucas and Sister Stella Maria Younas: "We are very grateful to Mr. Mariano Akerman for being with us in our school and having a session on Bible stories that have been incorporated in the visual arts of Germany. He is a very competent lecturer and his way to talking to the students is very friendly. God bless him."

Mariano Akerman (Argentinean), City of the Lord and Peace, c. 1992-5. For Biblical Images, see Tali Education and ABC Gallery

Shape and Meaning: The German Contribution to the Visual Arts - Five Educational Lectures by Mariano Akerman, German Embassy Islamabad, 3.1.2011, Education & Culture

Deutsche Kunst - Form und Bedeutung. Eine Vorlesungsreihe von Mariano Akerman, Botschaft der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Islamabad, 3.1.2011, Kulturelle Beziehungen (Andreas Dauth).

• Selected masterpieces at the German Art Gallery


Ashok Chand said...

Very informative. The meeting on The Bible and German Art gave us historical perspective. We've learnt about Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Mary and Jesus. We've also learnt of the dove as a symbol of peace and the pomegranate as a symbol of hope. The lecturer is enthusiastic and transmits this to all the audience.

Gulzar Masih said...

The programme is very useful to us and the teacher's method is most effective.

Asiya Javed said...

Mr. Mariano Akerman shared great knowledge with us today. Basing his thoughts on visual and literary sources he gave us a very interesting session. His method is simple and effective. He explained important ideas with the help of examples. We've learnt a lot from him today.

Mr. Ishfaq said...

By the grace of God you have the power of knowledge, voice, and wisdom. Your teaching method is very good and friendly. I like very much learning about Abraham and rediscovering the protagonists af Holy Scriptures in German imagery. God bless you.

Gab Steg said...

Muy lindo. Me interesan mucho las conferencias que estás dando. Te mando un beso grande. gab ~

Elizabeth Naz said...

A very informative programme. We've learnt a lot through German art.
Mariano Akerman is a very intelligent person. He reminded us of the Bible's concept of loving our neighbour as we love ourselves, and also shared useful feelings and thoughts about our lives.

Mr. Shafique said...

The two lectures given by Mariano Akerman were very good. He shared lots of important and powerful concepts with us. God bless him.

Dr. Veven said...


Francisca Frangipan said...

'The Covenant of Abraham' is an absolutely breathtaking print.

Yuka Nakasone said...

Es fantástico. Comprendo muy bien de que amas el país donde vives y su gente. A seguir con tus trabajos maravillosos por la humanidad. Y sobre todo, sigue inspirando la gente.