Cain and Abel

John Reilly, Cain and Abel, 1958. Methodist Collection of Modern Christian Art, No.22

John Reilly (1928–2010) was a postwar British artist primarily working in clay but moving to painting later in his career. He painted many biblical scenes, always with the intention to display the spiritual significance of a story and not necessarily its actual events. Painters of religious art in this era were swimming against the current of ideas about painting. Reilly developed a unique style that seemed to combine Eastern icon traditions with fauvism, and this piece is a good example of a visual translation of the story of Cain and Abel.

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