Very large Flemish Old Master biblical oil painting
Belgian/Dutch, 17th Century
Frame: Height 93.5cm, width 219cm, depth 5cm
Canvas: Height 66cm, width 195cm, depth 2cm
This large 17th-century oil-on-canvas painting draws inspiration from the Hebrew Bible and Christian Old Testament’s ‘Book of Judges’, capturing a pivotal moment from its pages.
Jephthah, the protagonist, takes centre stage, his presence dividing the artwork into two distinct realms, each weaving a tale of its own. On the left, Jephthah’s daughter dances, her fingers playing the strings of a harp, while a group of female companions joins her, their instruments filling the air with melodious harmonies.
In the foreground, Jephthah, mounted on a horse, rips his garments asunder—a powerful gesture filled with symbolic significance. To the right, his gallant army charges forward on horseback, representing Jephthah’s triumphant victory in battle against the Ammonites.
The painting also features an impressive landscape. A castle stands tall in the back while verdant foliage, woodlands and towering mountains provide a breathtaking panorama. The artist’s oil brushstrokes wield a vibrant colour palette, with brilliant red hues commanding attention to the characters.
The meticulous craft is evident in the detailing, such as the horses’ anatomy or the intricacies of the lush foliage. Such skill and dedication breathe life into this extraordinary tableau preserved within an exquisite giltwood frame.
This painting’s focus on a renowned biblical scene ensures its status as a rare and significant piece.