Pieter Lastman ca. 1583 – 1633

Jephtha and his daughter

oil on panel (122 × 200 cm) — c. 1611 Museum Museum Briner und Kern, Winterthur

Pieter Lastman biography

This work is linked to Judges 11:35

Tags: Judges

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Jephthah (or Jephtha) was one of Israel's judges. These judges where leaders in the era before the kings. He was a son of Gilead and a prostitute.

Jephtha led a band of fighters that defeated hostile Ammonites. Before the battle he had sworn to God to sacrifice the first person who would meet them if they returned home victoriously. That person turned out to be his daughter, his only child.

The painting shows the band and several of their victims and prisoners. Lastman tried to depict Jephtha's despair as he sees his daughter approaching. He tore his clothes, but had to stick to his promise. The unnamed daughter accepts her fate.

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