Rocky Landscape with Hagar and Ishmael
GAINSBOROUGH, Thomas (1727 - 1788)
Media: oil on canvas
Size: 78.2 x 95.0 cm
Acquired: 1965; Purchase
Accession Number: NMW A 100
Gainsborough's only original religious composition, this work was painted around 1788. Mother and son are shown trudging into the dark wilderness. Following the description given in Genesis XXI, 9-15 Hagar carries the precious water bottle on her shoulder. With its rich, dark tonalities, this picture is an essay in the style of the seventeenth-century Spanish painter Murillo, who was a powerful influence on Gainsborough in the 1780s.