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Duccio di Buoninsegna: The Samaritan Woman

Duccio di Buoninsegna ca. 1255 – 1319

The Samaritan Woman

tempera on panel (43 × 46 cm) — 1308-11 Museum Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

Duccio di Buoninsegna biography

This work is linked to John 4:7

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This is a panel from the predella of Duccio's famous Maestà. After the masterpiece was taken apart, this panel ended up in Spain.

Jesus is sitting on a well outside the Samarian city of Sichar. The well is known as Jacob's Well, as Jacob himself once used it. Jesus asks the approaching woman for water. She is surprised that he, a Jew, talks to her, a Samaritan. Jews and Samaritans did not get along well. He replies that if only she knew of the water he could give her: living water.

From the right a few of Jesus' followers return from the city, where they had been shopping for supplies.

Further on in the chapter Jesus shows he knows everything about the woman. She then believes he is the Messias, and persuades her fellow citizens to believe so too.

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