Jan Lievens 1607 – 1674

Abraham and Isaac

oil on canvas (180 × 136 cm) — c. 1637 Museum Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Braunschweig

Jan Lievens biography

This work is linked to Genesis 22:15

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God wants to test Abraham's fidelity and asks him to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham prepares himself and takes his son to a mountain. When he raises his knife to kill Isaac, an angel intervenes and Isaac is rescued.

In the foreground to the left are the knife and the ram that was sacrificed in Isaac's place. Abraham embraces the scared Isaac. They listen to God, who promises many blessings to faithful Abraham.

Lievens was living in Antwerp when he painted this canvas. In previous years he had worked in London with Anthony van Dyck, whose style is visible in this painting. Bright colors, fluent brushwork.

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