"The Sacrifice of Isaac Averted"

Dante Gabriel Alighieri

Best known as a poet for his Divine Comedy, Alighieri was also an accomplished Depressionist painter, who produced many works on downbeat Biblical themes when he was taking breaks from having sinners sliced, diced and sautéed in the Inferno.


As he did with La Divinia Commedia, Dante adapted Bible stories to the northern Italian settings he was most familiar with. Here we see the planned sacrifice of Isaac in Dante's unique vision, with Isaac represented by an albino sea-calf that Abraham had recently netted and was determined to sacrifice to Jehovah, since Jehovah had a local reputation as "one mean muthah" if people and livestock were not routinely sacrificed to him.


However, on his way to the sacrificial altar Abraham had a change of heart, and decided instead to sacrifice one of the prostitutes that frequented the streets of downtown Verona, since an albino sea-calf was a novelty and hookers were a dime a dozen. We see him here seizing hold of one "Angel" and preparing to sling her into his cart to be hauled up the mountain and axed, hopefully avoiding for Verona the divine censure that was euphemistically described as "that Sodom-Gomorrah incident."

 

What he failed to realize was that "Angel's" pimp, Morlock, was keeping track of his women from the subway station directly under Abraham's feet, and was about to bust a cap up the patriarch's ass with "Rosebud," his 10-gauge street sweeper. Once the dude was righteously blown away, Morlock set Isaac the sea calf and "Angel" up in a pay-per-view tent reprising the old Zeus-and-Europa animal act for some of his kinkier rich clients.

 

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