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Hebrew Studies 39 (1998) 238 Reviews cal context, with its emphasis on non-violence and its celebration of God's victories, to preserve the contextual meaning of these psalms. The strength of Zenger's work is also its weakness. He combines concerns for ethics, historical and literary criticism, theology, and liturgical effect in rare and illuminating ways. Yet one concern sometimes interferes with another; for example, his liturgical translation of Ps 137:7 replaces vividly concrete imagery with political abstractions. thus vitiating its poetic power almost as effectively as those who excise the verse entirely. But this criticism simply emphasizes the difficulties that Zenger himself highlights. This book offers a valuable mediation between the conflicting demands made by biblical interpreters. theologians. and liturgists on the imprecatory psalms. James W. Watts Hastings College Hastings, NE 68902 jwatts@bronco} .hastings.edu THE ICONOGRAPHY OF JOB THROUGH THE CENTURIES. ARTISTS AS BmLICAL INTERPRETERS. By Samuel Terrien. pp. xxxv + 308. University Park. PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press. Cloth. $65.00. Reception Aesthetics urges us to take cognizance of the role of the reader in the interpretation of a text. Artists (to be more specific. people engaged in the "fine" or "visual arts") through the ages did not only merely illustrate biblical texts, but also acted as interpreters. The subtitle of Samuel Terrien's book on the iconography of the biblical Job says it all. (See also my article in JNSL 23/2 [19971. which deals in detail with the representation of the serpent in the garden of Eden.) As Terrien indicates, the international tale of the Edomite sufferer, which was chanted as "a masque of faith" (p. xxxiii) has gripped the imagination of artists from the Dura-Europos synagogue and the early Christian catacombs through medieval illuminated manuscripts. Renaissance and Baroque paintings. to William Blake's engravings and a needlepoint of the 1980s. fu this book. which presents a survey of the iconography of Job. Terrien reflects his encyclopaedic knowledge, but he writes with passion on a book on which he is an authority (see his commentary on Job). fu dealing with the art material (about 150 items). he proves himself to be an artist; Hebrew Studies 39 (1998) 239 Reviews and when I started reading the book, I could not put it down. The book is more than simply a visual commentary on Job; it is an important source for the reception history of Job as well as a contribution to European art and cultural history. In the "Preface" and "Introduction" the author states his assumptions. He has selected only material which includes "creative interpretations of the text" (p. xxvi). Then follows the discussion of the art material in roughly chronological order, but grouped into four parts: the prophet of new life, the philosopher of suffering, intercessor for sexual reprobates, and the existential man. The artworks dealt with are: (i) the Dura-Europos synagogue , the Viale Manzoni hypogeum, Roman catacombs and Byzantine sarcophagi; (ii) Patmos and medieval illuminations, Romanesque and Gothic sculptures, ending with Late Gothic depictions; (iii) a potpourri of media on "Job and the musicians," the Champeaux-en-Brie choir stalls, Renaissance paintings, various media from Flemish and Baroque artists, including a New Mexico sculpture; (iv) various European paintings including some of the Rubens school, Blake's twenty-one engravings and nineteenth-twentieth century illustrations including Kokoschka and ChagaU, ending with a needlepoint from 1982. In the Postscript there are three pieces: a medieval illumination, a post-World War II statue in Rotterdam and an undated Swedish statue. The artworks are fairly well produced, although Figures 35-39 in my copy are blurred. Figures 52-53 fill a full page, but the very important Sacra Allegoria (Fig. 71) is reproduced much too small to make the detail legible for the uninitiated. In some cases Terrien has "rediscovered" some art works by identifying these with Job, e.g., the Dura-Europos fresco secco (Fig. 1), but he also gives detailed analysis, as in his brilliant description (which had the most lasting impression on me personally) of La Tour's "Job and his wife" (Fig. 91 with pp. 16frI69). The author places the artworks in context, as with Bellini's Sacra Allegoria...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2158-1681
Print ISSN
0146-4094
Pages
pp. 238-241
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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