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Caravaggio: The Sacrifice of Isaac (1603)

Caravaggio 1573 – 1610

The Sacrifice of Isaac (1603)

oil on canvas (204 × 135 cm) — ca. 1603 Museum Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Caravaggio biography

This work is linked to Genesis 22:10

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The expression on Isaac's face says it all: he is scared to death, with his father about to cut his throat. At this exact moment, an angel intervenes, suggesting that Abraham had better sacrifice a sheep.

Please note the sharp contrast between the unpleasant scene in the foreground and the rustic landscape in the background.

This painting was most likely commissioned by Cardinal Barberini, the future Pope Urban VIII.

A few years later Caravaggio would make another painting with this popular theme.

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