barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham


GIOVANNI BENEDETTO CASTIGLIONE (1609 – 1664)

Rebecca Led by the Servant of Abraham

Rome, about 1650

Oil on canvas

150 x 194.5 cm

 

Rebecca is shown  on horseback, making the journey to meet her future husband Isaac. She turns to address Abraham’s servant, who, according to the Old Testament, was guided by God to find Isaac a wife. The composition involves the viewer among the group of travelers.

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.

 

Purchased 1967 (No.67.5)