The Sacrifice of Abraham

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Giovanni Battista Caracciolo (called Battistello)
Born Naples, Italy, c1570-1637

Abraham Sacrificing Isaac

Oil on canvas
Presented by John Robertson, 1886
Museum Number 45-1912

In the Biblical Old Testament, God tests Abraham's faith by telling him to kill his son Isaac. The story was a popular theme for artists and Caracciolo has chosen the moment when an angel tells Abraham not to harm his son but to sacrifice a ram, seen in the bush at the right corner, instead. The poses and the strong contrast of light and shade evoke emotional tension.

The Sacrifice of Abraham
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