A Protestant man and woman interrupted while reading the forbidden Bible

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A Protestant man and woman interrupted while reading the forbidden Bible. Wood engraving by M Klinkicht after K Ooms. "His [ie Ooms's] career received a boost from the success of his 1876 history/genre painting entitled The prohibited reading (Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium). This painting depicts a historical scene of an old man and a young woman who are huddled over a bible. The pair is gazing in apparent concern or alarm over the shoulder of the old man towards something outside of the picture. The scene is likely set in the 16th or 17th century when Protestants were being prosecuted, amongst others, because of their practice of reading the Bible in the vernacular, a practice prohibited by the Catholic Church at the time. One of the reasons of the success of Ooms' picture was that the situation of the small minority of Protestants in Catholic Belgium of the late 19th century was seen as having parallels with their situation in the 16th century. The original of the painting was immediately acquired by the Belgian state. Ooms made in 1885 a reduced copy of the work, probably for his own use. The composition was also copied by other painters for display in Protestant religious venues and homes and was also circulated through prints. The composition shows Ooms' principal interest in portrait painting as the faces of the two figures are in the centre of the composition and are clearly painted in more vivid colours and detail." – Wikipedia (English) accessed 28 November 2019. Prohibited books. Protestants. Belgium. Contributors: Karel Ooms (1845–1900); M Klinkicht. Work ID: j8ds3vxj.

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