Hagar and Ishmael in the Wilderness
SACCHI, Andrea (1599 - 1661)
Media: oil on canvas
Size: 75.6 x 92.0 cm
Acquired: 1971; Purchase; with assistance of the Art Fund
Accession Number: NMW A 9
This painting shows Hagar despairing over her son Ishmael who is dying of thirst after being banished to the desert, when an angel appears. The angel points to a spring of water and announces that Ishmael is destined to father a great nation. The painting is based on the Old Testament story of Hagar and Ishmael (Genesis 21: 1-21) and was made for Cardinal Antonio Barberini, Sacchi’s principal patron and one of the greatest supporters of art at the time.