This picture was painted in Munich, based on drawings made a few years earlier in Italy. The artist had spent ten years in that country, and was a leading figure in a group of German and Austrian artists named the Nazarenes who sought to invest modern painting with the purity of form and spiritual values that they saw in Renaissance art.

The subject is taken from the Old Testament Book of Ruth. Here the Moabite Ruth is gleaning (gathering up corn left after the harvest) to support her widowed mother-in-law. The landowner Boaz who talks to her has come to show his admiration for her support for her family. The two eventually married, and King David, Mary, Joseph and Jesus were among their descendants.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1794 - 1872
Full title
Ruth in Boaz's Field
Date made
1828
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
59 x 70 cm
Inscription summary
Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1997
Inventory number
NG6570
Location in Gallery