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ID number:  BIRBI-49.13
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Fetti, Domenico (1588/9-1623)
Title / Object name:  The Blind leading the Blind
Object type:  Painting
Culture:  Italian
Date made:  about 1621/2
Materials:  Oil on wood
Measurements:  60.7 x 44.2 cm
Provenance:  Dr Bragge's sale, 1753 (lot 61), purchased by George, 3rd Earl of Cholmondeley; remained in family until 1949; purchased by Arthur Tooth & Sons Ltd; purchased from Arthur Tooth & Sons Ltd., in 1949 for £750.
BIRBI-49.13.jpg

Fetti illustrated many of Christ’s parables, creating a new type of small-scale religious genre painting. Here, three peasants, one with an extinguished lamp, foolishly follow their blind leader into a ditch, illustrating Christ’s warning to His disciples. The group is contrasted, above, with an able-bodied horseman riding in the opposite direction. The pathos of the event is heightened by a dark, stormy landscape.

Fetti was court painter to the Duke of Mantua for whom he painted thirteen parables. This is a slightly later variant of one of them.

Notes:  Exhibited: 'Holbein and Other Masters', Royal Academy, London, UK, November 1950 - 07 March 1951, no. 301; 'La Pittura del Seicento a Venezia', Museo d'arte moderna Ca' Pesaro, Venice, Italy, 27 June 1959 - 25 October 1959, no. 44; 'Venetian Seventeenth Century Painting', London, National Gallery, UK, 05 September 1979 - 30 November 1979, no. 12.

1 Related People

Fetti, Domenico
Italian
c. 1588/9
1623

2 Related Publications

Art Bulletin
Askew, P.
Art Bulletin
1961
Venetian seventeenth century painting

National Gallery, London
1979
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