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Kress Collection

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Italian Artist



Jacob and Laban's Daughters, c. 1680
Oil on canvas
29 1/4 in. x 24 1/2 in. (74.3 cm. x 62.23 cm.)

Creation Place: Europe, Italian
Technique: Painting
Credit Line: Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1961
Accession Number: P61.1.4

Commentary
The biblical story of Jacob is the subject of this work. After cheating his brother Esau out of his birthright and his blessing, Jacob was forced to flee for his life. Following his mother's advice, he took refuge in the home of his uncle Laban, who had two daughters, Leah and Rachel. Jacob fell in love with Rachel and agreed to work for his uncle for seven years in order to marry her. At the end of the seven years, however, Laban gave him Leah instead. After working another seven years, Jacob married Rachel as well. He went on to father twelve sons, from whom the Twelve Tribes of Israel descended.

This scene, by an anonymous Italian painter, shows Jacob removing the stone slab that covers a well. At the left, Rachel and Leah wait to water their sheep. The trio is dressed in classical attire; their flowing garments and sandaled feet evoke a very different time that that of biblical Israel. In the background, a town is tucked among rolling hills and lush grass, a serene landscape reminiscent of the French painter Poussin.

Attribution
French artist in Bologna, Italy (?)

Provenance
Kress Collection (K1824) gift, 1961.

Related Objects
The Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College has box of Xrays of the Kress Collection.

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For further inquiries, contact Associate Director/Registrar Steve Comba at steven.comba@pomona.edu.