Artist: Jean-Léon Gérôme
Medium: Oil on canvas
Location: Private Collection.
On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, Ten Lords a-leaping...
The leaping lords are representative of the Ten Commandments. Also known as the Decalogue, Ten Commandments are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God and to keep the Sabbath, and prohibitions against idolatry, blasphemy, murder, theft, dishonesty, and adultery.
French Academic paint Jean-Léon Gérôme paints a stunning image capturing the power of Exodus 16-18: 'And it came to pass on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of a horn exceeding loud; and all the people that were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. Now mount Sinai was altogether on smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.'