Lot’s Wife – 1888 Marble Sir William Thornycroft
In the book of Genesis, Sodom and Gomorrah were two cities overtaken by such overwhelming depravity and perfidy that God decided to burn them to the ground. At dawn break, two angels warned Lot, a righteous man, of the impending doom and specifically instructed him to flee with his family and never look back again. As the family was fleeing from the city, Lot’s wife disobeyed the angelic command, looked back at the condemned city and was immediately transformed into a pillar of salt. This sculpture depicts the exact moment when she turns back to look at the city and the placement of a light shining directly at her face adds a certain dramatic effect. There are differing interpretations as to why Lot’s wife was punished in such a grievous way, but the one I favor most describes the act of turning back as a form of longing for a sinful life that she was being forced to give up in order to be saved.