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The Departure of Abraham
Workshop or imitator of Jacopo Bassano
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God tells Abraham to leave Haran and go to Canaan. He obeys, travelling with his whole household and goods (Genesis 12:1).

The towers and walls of Canaan are just visible in the distance as God appears to the elderly Abraham in a burst of golden light. The young man in the turban beside Abraham is his nephew, Lot. Abraham’s wife, Sarah, rides on a horse. The dawn light suggests the urgency of their departure from Haran, the gate of which appears on the right.

Jacopo Bassano’s sons Francesco and Leandro were both painters and often worked with their father or copied his work. Francesco is thought to have made many copies of The Departure of Abraham. This painting may be by an artist in Jacopo’s workshop or an imitator of his style.

The Bassano family of painters were particularly known for biblical scenes including ordinary people with their animals and household goods. Similar livestock and objects are included in Jacopo Bassano’s Purification of the Temple, also in the National Gallery.

Key facts
Artist Workshop or imitator of Jacopo Bassano
Artist dates active about 1535; died 1592
Full title The Departure of Abraham
Date made about 1570-90
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 82.6 x 116.4 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1855
Inventory number NG2148
Location in Gallery Gallery A: Paintings 1250-1600
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