The Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant and placed it in the temple of the idol Dagon in Ashdod, but the Lord caused the idol to be smashed and its worshippers to be plague-stricken. Old Testament (I Samuel 5: 1-6). On the left are the Ark of the Covenant and the broken idol of Dagon.

This is a copy of Poussin's original of 1630-1 (Paris, Louvre), but with differences in the background. These differences may reflect an earlier idea for the background in Poussin's picture. It was painted for the Sicilian collector Fabrizio Valguarnera, who also owned the original by Poussin.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1585 - 1652
Full title
The Plague at Ashdod (after Poussin)
Date made
1631
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
129 x 204.5 cm
Acquisition credit
Presented by the Duke of Northumberland, 1838
Inventory number
NG165
Location in Gallery