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Anthony Van Dyck: Moses and the Brazen Serpent

Anthony Van Dyck 1599 – 1641

Moses and the Brazen Serpent

oil on canvas (205 × 235 cm) — 1620 Museum Museo del Prado, Madrid

Anthony Van Dyck biography

This work is linked to Numbers 21:8

Tags: Moses

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The Israelites complain about the long journey through the desert. God immediately punishes them for this lack of faith: they are attacked by poisonous snakes, and many die. The people admits to Moses that they have sinned and beg him to ask forgiveness from God.

God tells Moses to make a brazen serpent and put it on a stick. Everyone who was then bitten by a snake and looked at the brazen serpent, would not die.

There is some confusion about the attribution of this painting. It is signed in the lower right corner with 'Rubens'. Yet the Prado claims it really is a work by the young Anthony van Dyck.

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