The subject is from Genesis 22. Verses 5 and 6 relate that Abraham and his son approached the place of sacrifice alone and that Abraham laid the wood for the burnt offering upon Isaac. It was only on the third day of their journey that Abraham saw the place of intended sacrifice in the distance, so making a setting in an extensive landscape particularly appropriate.
This painting was probably in the collection of the Roman aristocrat, Prince Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna (1637 - 1689) by 1679.
The painting was purchased from the Angerstein collection.