Saturday, May 08, 2010

Balage Balogh: Merging Art and Archaeology

One of the many tasks of the Bible artist is to recreate the ancient civilizations of Bible times. In our attempts to accurately portray scenes which are set in ancient Egypt, Babylon, Israel, Assyria or Rome etc, we utilize all the latest archaeological evidence available to us. We have often discussed the question "How important is it to add lots of historical detail into our Bible pictures?" The consensus was, that so long as it doesn't slow us down too much, (as we sometimes have many pictures to illustrate in one story), adding well researched historical details does help to make a scene that bit more convincing. I'm not saying that we need to go to the same lengths as Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema as he sought to "bring antiquity back to life," but I think that we should try, to the best of our abilities, to present each story in its correct setting.

Having said that, for a small number of Bible artists it's immensely important that all historical details are absolutely accurate! These are the Bible artists whose job it is to illustrate Study Bibles, and of course those very helpful illustrated Bible Encyclopedias and dictionaries that we use. These artists have the great privilege of working alongside Bible scholars, Archaeologists and Archaeological Architects like Dr Leen Ritmeyer, all experts in their respective fields. One such artist, Balage Balogh, contacted me a few weeks ago, and gave me permission to share some of his wonderful artwork on the B.I.B.

Balage, was born in Budapest, Hungary and attended art school there. As an immigrant he settled in New York before traveling extensively in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Orient. Balage has worked for many years with archaeologists, scholars and museums creating archaeological reconstructions, and shares our passion for Bible Art! He was excited to find "a community of Bible artists who hang out together on the B.I.B", and is looking forward to joining with us as we discuss the various issues surrounding Bible illustration. You can see more of Balage's Bible art at his website, but before you rush off there, check out the samples below. Enjoy!

King David's balcony 10thcBCJosiahNebuchadnezar's palaceNehemiahSolomon's Temple
All pictures on this post are © Balage Balogh 2010