Abraham Going to Sacrifice Isaac was the culmination of Van Leyden's achievement in woodcut. He harmoniously balanced relatively straight, short, uniform hatching strokes, creating areas of tone, with vigorous, yet restrained lines for contours and descriptive detail. Spatial clarity and pictorial richness emphasize the artist's poignant approach to the subject. Because many believe Isaac's carrying of the wood to his own sacrifice prefigures Christ's bearing of the cross to Calvary, the actual journey of Abraham and Isaac becomes as significant a subject as the moment when Abraham prepares to sacrifice his son.
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