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Abraham Casting out Hagar and Ishmael

Guercino (Giovan Francesco Barbieri)

Guercino sets the story of Abraham, aged 100, casting out the slave Hagar and their son Ishmael to comply with his first wife Sarah’s demands on a stage conjuring up the world of melodrama which also inspires the figures’rhetorical gestures. Formerly in the Sampieri collection along with other masterpieces of Bolognese painting now in the Brera, this painting was commissioned from Guercino by the Cento Community in 1657 as a gift fot Lorenzo Imperiali, the cardinal legate of Ferrara.

Didascalie d’autore dedicate alle donne

“God offers to reward to Avram’s devotion, yet Avram’s only wish is for a child. So God arranges for him to sire a child with his wife’s handmaid Hagar. Avram’s wife, Sarai, feels humiliated now that Hagar is pregnant. How is Avram to blame you might ask? But Avram was only was concerned with his offspring, with his misery – not his wife’s sorrow – and solved only his childlessness. In getting what he wanted, not what his family needed, Avram sets in motion the exile of Hagar and their son Ishmael.”
Chava Koster

Download hi-res image TITLE Abraham Casting out Hagar and Ishmael
AUTHOR Guercino (Giovan Francesco Barbieri)
DATE 1657
DIMENSIONS cm 115 x 152
Work on display
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