Hagar was Abraham's concubine, and bore him a son Ishmael. After the birth of Isaac, Abraham's heir, Hagar and Ishmael were sent away because of the jealousy of Isaac's mother Sarah. God sent an angel to protect Hagar and Ishmael and show them water, because Ishmael was also a child of Abraham. (Genesis 21: 17)

In the Old Testament Ishmael is the founder of the Arab nations; the story is meant to explain closeness and enmity between Jew and Arab.

This is a copy of the signed original in the Hospital Tavera, Toledo.

Key facts

Artist dates
1615 - 1673
Full title
An Angel appears to Hagar and Ishmael in the Desert
Date made
17th century
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
132.7 x 95.3 cm
Acquisition credit
Bequeathed by the Misses Cohen as part of the John Samuel collection, 1906
Inventory number
Location in Gallery