Song of Solomon: Illustrations


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Although it has been the most

widely read and celebrated romantic poem in Western literature, there are surprisingly few well-known artistic representations of the Song of Solomon... and fewer still that accurately convey the sensuality of the original text. Where are the great sculptures, paintings, and illustrations for this vivid poem? Where are the Michelangelos and the Da Vincis celebrating our sacred role in the renewal of life on Earth, as the
Song of Solomon does?

No renowned historical masterpiece comes to mind. If you are aware of any work of this sort, please share your knowledge with our other visitors.


the present collection of illustrations for the Song of Solomon re-dedicates several "secular" works of art, to present the Song's sensuality in a way that is vivid and engaging. We hope that these illustrations will inspire contemporary artists to create a new genre of Christian art that celebrates the sacred dance of courtship and procreation.

The Song of Solomon

is an echo from the time before sexual love was relegated to the realm of the profane: which is why it has been so difficult for so many people to read it as a poem that is both sexual and spiritual.

Once upon a time our sacred role in the regeneration of life was thought to be the very heart of religion. In her book "Sacred Pleasure," Riane Eisler, pointed out the vast difference between historic and prehistoric views of sexuality. "Except for an occasional descretely robed Virgin who supposedly got pregnant without sexual intercourse," images of the pregnant female body and the act of birth-giving---which are common in prehistoric art---are virtually absent from the art of recorded history. 

As the Christian gospel spread throughout the surrounding Hellenic culture, it was blended with a dualism of body and spirit that was very uncharacteristic of Judaism. It was from Hellenism and gnosticism that Christianity picked up the notions that sexuality and spirituality are incompatible; that celibacy is more pleasing to God than marriage; that Jesus could not be both holy and sexual. But these were inversions of the earliest expressions of Christianity.

There is a connection between the desacralization of sexuality, the desacralization of nature, and our present environmental crisis.

As Mark Wallace put it in his essay, "The Green Face of God:"

The impact of Christianity's antipagan teachings has tended to empty the biosphere of any sense of God's presence in natural things.

But if the root of the environmental problem is deeply spiritual or religious at its core, it is also the case, ironically, that a partial answer to the problem lies in a rehabilitation of the earth-friendly teachings within the spiritual traditions that seem most hostile to nature, namely, the Christian tradition.

Christianity, then, is the pharmakon of looming environmental disaster: in part, it is both the cause of the problem and its solution. It is both the origin of the ecocidal "disease" from which we suffer and its "cure," insofar as it provides resources for a new green mindset toward nature that is a prophylactic against antinature attitudes and habits.

For a more in-depth discussion of the links between sacred sexuality, the Song of Solomon, Christian mysticism, and environmentalism, please visit the home page.


Song of Solomon #1 Kiss me,
make me drunk with your kisses!
Your sweet loving is better than wine.
---Song of Solomon 1: 2


Song of Solomon #2 You are fragrant,
you are myrrh and aloes,
All the young women want you.
---Song of Solomon 1: 3-4


Song of Solomon #3 My brothers were angry with me,
they made me guard the vineyards.
I have not guarded my own.
---Song of Solomon 1:6


Song of Solomon #4 Tell me, my only love,
where do you pasture your sheep,
where will you let them rest in the heat of noon?
---Song of Solomon 1:7


Song of Solomon #5An enclosed garden is my sister, my bride,
a hidden well, a sealed spring.
---- Song of Solomon 4:12-15


Song of Solomon #6 Awake, north wind! O south wind, come,
breathe upon my garden,
let its spices stream out.
----Song of Solomon 4:16


Song of Solomon #7 Your breasts are two fawns,
twins of a gazelle,
grazing in a field of lilies.
----Song of Solomon 4:5


Song of Solomon #8Before day breathes,
before the shadows of night are gone,
I will hurry to the mountain of myrrh,
the hill of frankincense.
---- Song of Solomon 4:6


Song of Solomon #9 I was asleep
but my heart stayed awake.
my lover knocking:
----Song of Solomon 5:2


Song of Solomon #10My beloved is milk and wine,
he towers above ten thousand.
His head is burnished gold,
the mane of his hair
black as the raven.
---- Song of Solomon 5:10


Song of Solomon #11 Your eyes! Turn them away
for they dazzle me.
----Song of Solomon 6:5


Song of Solomon #12 Then I went down to the walnut grove
to see the new green by the brook,
to see if the vine had budded,
if the pomegranate trees were in flower.
And oh! before I was aware,
she sat me in the most lavish of chariots.
----Song of Solomon 6:11


Song of Solomon #13 There beneath the apricot tree,
your mother conceived you,
there you were born.
In that very place, I awakened you.
----Song of Solomon 8:5


Song of Solomon #14 love is as fierce as death
----Song of Solomon 8:6


Song of Solomon #15 If a man tried to buy love
with all the wealth of his house,
he would be despised.
----Song of Solomon 8:7

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"Song of Songs" Shir HaShirim, Canticle of Canticles

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