The painting was purchased in Korea and is titled, The Secret. Some suggest that the artist wanted to show the moment when Sarah told Abraham that she was pregnant.
I love the coloring, the expressions, and the sense being part of a deeply personal moment with the two. I also love the reality that multiple people who were Christian missionaries in Korea have this painting hanging in their homes.
My computer is slowly growing a small collection of Christian art that has been painted to mesh comfortably with a non-European view of Scripture. It includes a Thai painting of heaven, a variety of African portraits of Christ, and the Garden of Eden as revealed by artists who’ve never seen redwood trees.
This one joins the collection, especially for Abraham’s clothes and Sarah’s rather pleased, playful, and victorious expression.
This painting is very different from what I remember admiring in the Bible Story books my Dad read to us on our old davenport in the ‘50s. Those paintings helped me fall in love with the Bible and the people who populate it. They also helped me slip into a pair of their sandals and walk through history with them. However, while on those journeys I was always wondering, “What were the people really like?” “How did they care for daily activities and chores?” “What were their hobbies?” …and a thousand other questions.
Maybe that’s why I love paintings of Jesus as a Rastafarian, or Lot as an Eskimo, Mary Magdalene as a Thai princess, Peter as a Chinese fisherman, or Abraham and Sarah as Korean. I can almost hear her chuckling!
If you have any Bible paintings like this that you’d be interested in sharing, please email digital copies to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to see them.