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Images of Liberty

The following images are of two kinds. The first are the images which we come across from time to time in the books we put online. Others are part of the Study Guides on Images of Liberty and Power which contain more detailed analysis and discussion of significant images (art, posters, photographs, etchings) on the themes of liberty and power.


Gilbert Stuart, George Washington (1796)
(“the Lansdowne Portrait”)
Frédéric Bartholdi, The Statue of Liberty (1870s)

Samuel warns the Israelites of the Dangers of Kings

"Saul is ordered to destroy all the Amalekites and their livestock,"
[page 24 verso, lower panel]
The Morgan Picture Bible (c. 1250)

Many Christians in 17th century England and 17th and 18th century North America were struck by some passages in I Samuel in which the prophet Samuel warned about the dangers a King would pose to the liberties of the Israelite people. This struck a chord with those who were fighting the growing power of the Stuart monarchy or the efforts of the British Empire to exert its power over the North American colonies. The art we have chosen to illustrate these passages come from the Illustrated Bible commissioned by King Louis IX (1214-1270) of France in the mid-13th century. They provide a stark contrast to the anti-monarchical sentiment of 17th and 18th century Englishmen. Louis IX arranged for these illustrations to be made because he wanted to assert his divine right to rule France and saw in the commands of Samuel and the actions of King Saul both historical and theological precedent upon which he could draw to justify his own behavior. [More]

[See other works by Samuel]