Congregation Beth El–Keser Israel

85 Harrison Street, New Haven, CT 06515-1724 | P: 203.389.2108 |

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Richard McBee

Paintings about the Binding of Isaac:

Akeidah Verbs and Others

Hagar Wept

Abraham, Abraham…
Here I am

Take now your son

And Abraham rose up early

Took two…
and Isaac his son

On exhibition at BEKI from November 6, 2019  through January 11, 2020,   “Akeida Verbs” is a series of 30 paintings that attempt to plumb the mystery of Abraham, Sarah and Isaac’s terrifying final encounter with their God.

McBee explains:
By isolating almost every verb or significant action in Genesis Chapter 22 and related passagesI hope to uncover and begin to make sense of this story’s narrative streams in 30 crucial scenes. Slowing down and concentrating on individual words and moments provide a fractured cinematic experience unlike any previous artwork I have done on this subject over the last 40 years.

In contrast, “Urban Akeida Diptych” focuses on the Angel of Death as he first comes for the soul of Isaac and, thwarted, is forced to turn his icy gaze to the matriarch Sarah. “The result,” McBee says, “is the final act of this tragic family.

McBee is a painter of Biblical subject matter and a writer on Jewish Art. From 2000 until 2014, he wrote about the Jewish Arts for The Jewish Press, and he continues to exhibit paintings, lecture, and curate Jewish art exhibitions. He is a founding member of the Jewish Art Salon.

His website exhibits over 300 of his artworks and 250 of his Jewish Art reviews.

See Videos of Richard McBee’s talk at BEKI here:

Introduction by Margaret Olin

Video 2, Sarah and Hidden Figures

More Videos of the talk at BEKI continue here: