The subject is from the Old Testament (Genesis 21: 17-18). After Abraham had expelled his mistress Hagar and their son Ishmael, mother and child ran out of water in the wilderness. An angel of the Lord then called to Hagar to lift up her son, 'For I will make him a great nation.'

Assereto's known work is mainly of religious subjects. Another version of this painting is in the Palazzo Rosso, Genoa.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1600 - 1649
Full title
The Angel appears to Hagar and Ishmael
Date made
about 1640
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
119 x 167 cm
Acquisition credit
Presented by the Trustees of Sir Denis Mahon's Charitable Trust through the Art Fund, 2013
Inventory number
NG6621
Location in Gallery