Arent de Gelder 1645 – 1727

Isaac meets Rebekah

oil on canvas (59 × 69 cm) — c. 1665 Museum Museum of the City of Brussels - Maison du Roi, Brussels

Arent de Gelder biography

This work is linked to Genesis 24:66

Tags: Isaac

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Abraham tells his servant Eliezer to go and find a wife for his son Isaac, who is already 40 years old. The woman may not be a Canaanite, so Eliezer travels to Mesopotamia, the land Abraham left many years before.

At a source he meets the beautiful Rebecca (Rebekah), the granddaughter of Abraham's brother Nahor. She gets permission to leave, and travels back to Palestine with Eliezer.

Back home Isaac is walking in the fields as he sees the group approaching. The impatient Rebecca jumps from her camel and covers her face.

De Gelder shows the moment when Eliezer briefs Isaac. In the background Rebecca's company is waiting.

It is uncertain when De Gelder made this painting. Most experts consider it one of his first works, as the figures are still a bit clumsy. He may have taken the subject from his master Rembrandt, who around 1665 was working on his Jewish bride, after the story of Isaac and Rebecca.

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