Black and white chalks on antique laid blue paper
Sheet: 43.4 x 27.8 cm (17 1/16 x 10 15/16 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 2019.3
The story of Hagar and her son Ishmael cast into the wilderness seen in this drawing was popular in 17th-century Holland for its emphasis on charity and compassion for immigrants.
In this drawing, the Haarlem artist Pieter de Grebber depicted the Old Testament subject of the handmaid Hagar and her son Ishmael being cast out into the wilderness by Abraham. A popular story in the Protestant Netherlands, its theme played into the society’s emphasis on charity and compassion for immigrants or outcasts. De Grebber focused the scene on Abraham’s dismissive gesture and Hagar’s tearfully wilted form, beautifully rendered with carefully shaded drapery.
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