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The National Gallery has endeavoured to make as many images of the collection as possible available for non-commercial use. However, an image of this painting is not available to download. This may be due to third party copyright restrictions.

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Two Scenes from the Story of Moses

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These two Old Testament scenes are painted not on panel, as are most surviving Italian Renaissance paintings, but on linen. They are part of a series of eight paintings on linen canvasses by various artists, which survive in various collections.

Although now rare, paintings on linen were widespread in the Renaissance. They could serve as hangings, curtains, altar frontals and banners, as well as framed works of art; they were much cheaper than tapestries, faster to execute than frescoes and easier to transport than panel paintings.

These pictures probably came from a small chapel or oratory in Ferrara. Alternatively, they might have been from the home of a member of Ferrara’s Jewish community.

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