> Weekly Torah Portion > Beginner > Art of Revelation

Hineni - Here I Am

Vayeira (Genesis 18-22 )

by Yoram and Meira Raanan

"Avraham, Avraham," 2000, acrylic on canvas, 107.5 x 82 cm.

And an angel of God called to him from heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." And he said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad nor do anything to him..." (Genesis 22:11-12)

The simple palette of earthy browns (burnt umber and warm, raw sienna) reflects this dramatic moment when Abraham is told not to sacrifice his son. The solid figure of Abraham, focused on his divine task, is outlined with light as the angel emerges on the left from the thick brushwork. The painting evolved as a result of emotional and intellectual struggle with the complex subject of Abraham being asked to offer his son as a sacrifice.

A lot of revision went into the creation of the painting. Passages were reworked extensively, so that the resulting layers of brushwork take on a life of their own. The sheer physicality of paint becomes as central to the work as the chosen subject. For the artist, much depends on a willingness to make drastic changes and to take advantage of the divine flow that arises during the creative process. For Abraham, everything depended on his readiness to become a channel for God's will.

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