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ID number:  BIRBI-67.5
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Castiglione, Giovanni Benedetto (c.1609-1664)
Title / Object name:  Rebecca led by the Servant of Abraham
Object type:  Painting
Place made:  Rome
Culture:  Italian
Date made:  about 1650
Materials:  Oil on canvas
Measurements:  150 x 194.5 cm unframed; 175 x 219 x 6.3cm framed
Provenance:  Duke of Malborough, from 18th century; Blenheim Palace sale; Christie's Auction House, London, 7 August, 1886 (no. 643); Hazlitt Gallery; purchased by the Barber Institute, June 1967

Rebecca, on a horse, makes the journey to meet her future husband Isaac. She turns to address Abraham’s servant. According to the Old Testament story, he was guided by God to find a wife for his master’s son in a distant land. The composition carefully places the viewer amongst the travellers.
The Genoese artist Castiglione specialised in painting animal subjects, particularly those which included journeys. Here, the biblical story provides the artist with an opportunity to elevate his normally humble subject matter.

Notes:  Exhibited: 'Baroque Painting in Italy', Hazlitt Gallery, London, UK, 1967, cat. no. 9.; 'Pier Francesco Mola', Lugano, Switzerland, 16 September 1989 - 19 November 1989

2 Related People

Hazlitt Gallery

Castiglione, Giovanni Benedetto

8 Related Publications

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, master draughtsman of the Italian baroque

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Catalogue Raisonne, or, A List of the Pictures in Blenheim Palace

Art Treasures in Great Britain
Waagen, Gustav

Criticisms on Art
Hazlitt, William

Works of Art and Artists in England
Waagen, Gustav

A New Guide to Blenheim

Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen
Neale, J. P.

Scripture Bulletin
O'Kane, Martin
The Catholic Biblical Association of Great Britain
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