Hagar and Ishmael in the Wilderness

SACCHI, Andrea (1599 - 1661)

Hagar and Ishmael in the Wilderness

Media: oil on canvas

Size: 75.6 x 92.0 cm

Acquired: 1971; Purchase; with assistance of the Art Fund

Accession Number: NMW A 9

This painting shows Hagar despairing over her son Ishmael who is dying of thirst after being banished to the desert, when an angel appears. The angel points to a spring of water and announces that Ishmael is destined to father a great nation. The painting is based on the Old Testament story of Hagar and Ishmael (Genesis 21: 1-21) and was made for Cardinal Antonio Barberini, Sacchi’s principal patron and one of the greatest supporters of art at the time.

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