Fracticide [Der Brudermord]. Artist: Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld. Engraver: unknown. Source: Die Bibel in Bildern, Plate 13. Click on image to enlarge it.

And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. [Genesis 4:8; King James Bible]

The artist creates a powerful triangle out of the bodies of the attacking Cain and pleading Abel while the dramatic swirling smoke that rises from Abel’s sacrifice to God provides a powerful counterpoint. Schnorr’s approach is quite different from that of Gustave Doré’s Death of Abel, which shows the aftermath of humankind’s first murder set in a dark landscape with Cain recoiling from his brother’s corpse that lies on the ground before him.

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You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the Hathi Digital Trust Library and the Columbia University Library and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.


Die Bibel in Bildern [Picture Bible] von Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld. Leipzig: Georg Wigands, 1860. Hathi Digital Trust Library online version of a copy in the Columbia University Library. Web. 25 June 2016. — George P. Landow.

Last modified 27 June 2016