Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 1606 – 1669

Tobit and Anna with the Goat (1626)

oil on panel (40 × 30 cm) — 1626 Museum Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn biography

This work is linked to Tobit 3:1

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Tobit, who recently had lost his sight, has just suffered his wife's sharp rebuke after he accused her of stealing a goat. In his despair, he thinks it is all because of his sins and those of his ancestors. Here he prays for his suffering to end: "command my spirit to be taken from me, that I may be dissolved, and become earth: for it is profitable for me to die rather than to live [..]". Anna looks on, flabbergasted by the old man's prayers.

Rembrandt was hardly twenty years old when he painted this small but impressive panel. His characteristic contrastive use of light and dark is not yet fully developed, but the onset is clearly visible.

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