Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 1606 – 1669

Jacob Wrestling with the Angel

oil on canvas (137 × 116 cm) — ca. 1659/60 Museum Gemäldegalerie der Staatlichen Museen, Berlin

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn biography

This work is linked to Genesis 32:24

On his journey back to Canaan Jacob fears the encounter with his brother Esau, who awaits Jacob and his family on the other shore of a river. Jacob sends his family across but stays behind.

At night he gets into a fight with a mysterious man, probably an angel. Jacob and the angel wrestle all night, but the angel cannot win. At the break of dawn he gives up and blesses Jacob. He also gives him the honorary name Israel: "one who has prevailed with God".

Jacob's hip is injured during the fight.

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