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Gaspard Dughet, Landscape with Abraham and Isaac

Key facts
Full title Landscape with Abraham and Isaac approaching the Place of Sacrifice
Artist Gaspard Dughet
Artist dates 1615 - 1675
Date made about 1665
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 152.2 × 195.2 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1824
Inventory number NG31
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Landscape with Abraham and Isaac
Gaspard Dughet

In the Book of Genesis, God orders Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, his only son, on one of the mountains in the land of Moriah (near Jerusalem). This painting shows them walking on a path towards woodland on the third day of their journey as they approach the place of sacrifice. Isaac struggles under the weight of the wooden log on which he will unknowingly be sacrificed, and Abraham follows him holding a burning torch.

This sombre story is set in a tranquil landscape inspired by the countryside around Rome, where Dughet spent most of his career. While the background is bathed in the soft light of sunrise, most of the foreground is in deep shadow. Areas of dappled light create subtle variations in the green and yellow tones, suggesting the different types of plant and tree. The trees to the left and right and the sloping foreground frame the scene and draw our eye into the distance.

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