Abraham Bloemaert 1566 – 1651

The Baptism of the Chamberlain

oil on canvas (219 × 154 cm) — 1620-1625 Museum Centraal Museum, Utrecht

Abraham Bloemaert biography

This work is linked to Acts 8:35

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Tags: Apostles

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The black man, a eunuch, is the chamberlain of the Candace, the queen of Ethiopia. After a visit to Jerusalem he meets the apostle Philip, and asks him to explain a verse from Esaias (Isaiah, 53:7) to him. Philip then joins him, and starts preaching Jesus' gospel to the chamberlain.

Later on, when they reach a river, the chamberlain asks Philip to baptise him. He undergoes the baptism in ecstasy, with his hand on his chest and his eyes directed to heaven.

The chamberlain and his company are dressed as Romans. Bloemaert painted them life-size. It is possible that his son Hendrick took part in painting the work.

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