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Sebastiano Conca, Rebecca at the Well
Biblical - Historical - Mythologic
1750 ca.
Material and technique
oil on canvas
134 x 97 cm
Alessandro Zuccari
The episode depicted is from the Book of Genesis and describes the meeting between Rebecca and the slave Eliezer, whom Abraham sent to find a wife for his son Isaac. The beautiful young Rebecca is portrayed with porcelain skin and wearing classical robes, sitting next to the well as she receives a gift of precious jewellery from Eliezer. Behind her, a young girl draws water to offer to the gathering. In the background are two camels, a partial landscape at dusk, and the ruins of a large building. To complete the composition, in the lower part of the canvas two young women observe the scene with curiosity; one wears a hat, while the other, her shoulders bare and her hair gathered on top of her head, carries a classically shaped amphora. The latter figure is a typical example of Conca’s studies and appears, with little variation, in other paintings, such as The Transportation of the Ark in the Galleria Sabauda in Turin and The Idolisation of Solomon in the Museo del Prado. The Arcadian atmosphere and the careful placement of the figures emphasize how Conca’s painting was influenced by the classical style of Carlo Maratta, which he learned during his long stay in Rome.
Rebecca at the Well
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