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What Are Your Favorite Examples of Biblically Inspired Art?

I think that of all the works of art that have been inspired by the, by the biblical stories, certainly, and will show you what absolutely middle brow taste I have, the two greatest are, inarguably, the Sistine ceiling of Michelangelo, and Handel’s Messiah, which I mentioned before.  Which again is as close to a perfect work of religious art as you could ever have in exactly the sense that it is utterly democratic, it’s something that Welsh miners sing in those mass choirs in the north of England or in Wales; uh, and is also as, uh, stands alongside Bach or Mozart or Beethoven as a complete work of, of a musical expression.  So, listening, have they ever performed the Messiah in the Sistine Chapel?  I wonder if they ever have, but that would be a very high, that would be a very high moment, and it seems to me that, uh, those two things certainly stand for the summit of the art inspired by the Bible.

  • Adam Gopnik

    Adam Gopnik is a staff writer for The New Yorker  magazine. His recent books of essays include Paris to the Moon (2000) and Through the Children’s Gate (2006).