According to the Old Testament story (Exodus 2: 5), the infant Moses was hidden by his mother in a reed basket on the River Nile to save him from Pharaoh's order that all male children should be killed. He was discovered by Pharaoh's daughter who took him into her care.

The elongated proportions of the figures, facial types, and the sensitive use of colour are all characteristic of De Bellis. They are also closely related to the works of his Neapolitan contemporary Bernardo Cavallino, to whom this painting was once attributed (see his 'Christ driving the traders from the Temple').

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
active 1630 - about 1660
Full title
The Finding of Moses
Date made
1645-55
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
91.5 x 131.4 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1959
Inventory number
NG6297
Location in Gallery