Two masterful portraits of the prophet Isaiah were painted in Rome at the beginning of the 16th century. The first, by Michelangelo (see below), was painted on the Sistine chapel ceiling between 1500 and 1510.1 The second, by Raphael (see
An artist would search the Bible in vain for any hint of Isaiah’s specific physical features. Isaiah’s prophecies provide a few details about his family—his wife (8:3) and children (7:3, 14; 8:3, 18)—but none about his own image. Thus, every artist who wishes to paint a picture of a biblical figure who, like Isaiah, is not physically described, must rely on his own personal style to combine reality and imagination to produce a unique creation.
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