We are closed as a precautionary measure to help contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Find out more
Philip van Santvoort’s picture shows a violent episode taken from the Old Testament. Amnon, the son of King David and heir to his throne, desired his half-sister Tamar. He faked an illness and asked her to come and cook for him, then raped her.
Van Santvoort has depicted Amnon grabbing hold of Tamar, who seems to be resisting; the pair are frozen mid-movement. The scene looks almost like it is set on a stage, framed by curtains. The combination of silverware, lemons, and oranges spread out in the left foreground is more like a still life than somewhere where food is being prepared, adding to the overall theatrical effect of the setting.
Amnon’s half-brother Absalom would ultimately seek revenge for his sister’s assault, killing all of David’s other sons, including Amnon. Three years after the murder David forgave Absalom, and he returned to Jerusalem.
Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.
License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.
This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.
Examples of non-commercial use are:
The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.
As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.
You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.