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The story of Hagar and Ishmael is told in the Old Testament Book of Genesis. Unable to have a child with his wife, Sara, Abraham has a son called Ishmael by her Egyptian maidservant, Hagar. When the aged Sara miraculously conceives and gives birth to Isaac, she demands that Hagar and Ishmael are banished to the wilderness, where they are left to die.
Probably painted in the second half of 1652, this picture is an example of Guercino’s late classicising style, greatly influenced by Guido Reni.
Oil on canvas
H 193 x W 229 cm
Presented by the Trustees of Sir Denis Mahon's Charitable Trust through the Art Fund, 2013