Thursday, July 02, 2009

Naomi and Ruth in art

The Jesus in Love blog has a new painting of Naomi and Ruth, the very close friends (and possible lesbian partners) whose story is told in the Book of Ruth, part of the Ketuvim.
And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried.

Ruth 1:16-17
This subject has been popular in art for centuries. There's an Old Master at the Art and the Bible website, by Pieter Lastman ca. 1583–1633, entitled Ruth Declares her Loyalty to Naomi (1614). There's another in the Sudley House collection in Liverpool, by Ary Scheffer. William Blake got in on the act too:

Naomi entreating Ruth to follow Orpah (detail),
Illustration (1795) by William Blake (1757-1827)
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

There's a nice little picture of them on Monkey Mind, probably taken from an illustrated Bible:There's also a sort of quasi-Classicist depiction of them by Thomas Williams Rooke, entitled "Naomi, Ruth and Obed" (1876): There's a nice modern drawing, unattributed, with Hebrew text:This next one, from a blogpost entitled Ruth and Naomi: The Bible on Lesbians, is nice (and I like the pinky desert landscape). It looks as if they are just going to kiss...
Ruth and Naomi, Orpah departing, 1902
by Philip Hermogenes Calderon (1833-1898)


Kittredge Cherry said...

What a lovely survey of Ruth and Naomi paintings! Each one brings out a different aspect of the beautiful love between two women in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Thank you for putting this together, and kindly including a link to the Jesus In Love Blog post on the Ruth and Naomi painting by Trudie Barreras.

I'm going to look for more Ruth and Naomi images to share at the Jesus in Love Blog in the future. I was pleasantly surprised at how many blog visitors really loved our Ruth and Naomi post.


Yewtree said...

Thanks Kitt! I was pleasantly surprised at how many there were. It's a very nice story.