[The Pisgah Sight] God shows Moses the Promised Land. Artist: Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld. Engraver: Unknown. Click on image to enlarge it. Source: Die Bibel in Bildern, Plate 64. Click on image to enlarge it.

And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho . And the Lord shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan.

And all Napthali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea,

And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar.

And the Lord said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither. [Deuteronomy 34: 1-4; King James Bible]

Although the Pisgah Sight, as it is known, is a common subject in religious poetry and hymns, representations of it in the visual arts are quite uncommon, as are depictions of the actual death of Moses, which Schnorr also illustrates. Some of the fundamental difficulties of the subject appear in this Plate: First of all, Schnorr, who represents God as an old man clothed in flowing robes and with bare feet, makes Him look very much like Moses himself (though His beard is a little bit neater). The High Renaissance putti also seem very much out of place in this Old Testament scene.

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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. —George P. Landow.


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.

Last modified 25 June 2016