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Moses striking the Rock

Photo credit: The National Gallery, London

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According to the Old Testament Book of Exodus, the Israelites and their flock were thirsty after failing to find water during their long journey through Egypt. God instructed Moses to stand in front of the people with the elders of Israel and strike the rock of Horeb with his staff. A fresh stream of water gushed from the rock, enabling the Israelites and their animals to quench their thirst. Giaquinto shows the elderly Moses brandishing the miraculous staff. The delicate hues of his draperies harmonise with those of the figures in the foreground and contrast with the dull colour of the rocky landscape.

The National Gallery, London





Oil on canvas


H 136.5 x W 95 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought, 1987

Work type



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Normally on display at

The National Gallery, London

Trafalgar Square, London, Greater London WC2N 5DN England

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