Tobias and the Archangel Raphael

The subject is taken from the Book of Tobit in the Old Testament Apocrypha. The blind Tobit sent his son Tobias out to collect some money; the boy was accompanied by the Archangel Raphael in disguise. Raphael helped him to catch a fish, the heart, liver and gall of which were used by Tobias to drive away a demon and cure his father's blindness. Here the boy and angel are shown travelling together, the fish being dragged between them. The flowers in the foreground are cabbage poppies, and in the middle ground is a herd of cows.

The painting has been executed on a copper plate engraved with a coat of arms. The painting appears to be based on a much imitated composition by Elsheimer.

Key facts

Artist dates
1578 - 1610
Full title
Tobias and the Archangel Raphael returning with the Fish
Date made
mid-17th century
Medium and support
Oil on copper
19.3 x 27.6 cm
Acquisition credit
Bequeathed by Samuel Sanders, 1894
Inventory number
Location in Gallery