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The Finding of Moses

Photo credit: Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

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Notes

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When the Pharaoh ordered the killing of all boys born to the Israelites, Moses was hidden by his mother in a basket of bulrushes on the river Nile. There he was discovered and adopted by the Pharaoh's daughter. In Christian theology Moses was considered a precursor of Christ and analogies were drawn between his escape and Jesus's flight into Egypt. The palace in the background is based upon one in a Roman mosaic at Palestrina, excavated a few years previously. To the right is a personification of the River Nile. The joyfulness of this event is expressed through the bright colours of the fluttering drapery and the gestures of the figures. This painting was commissioned by Reynon, a silk merchant of Lyon and subsequently belonged to Clive of India (1725–1774), from whom it was inherited by the Earls of Powis.
Title

The Finding of Moses

Date

1651

Medium

oil on canvas

Measurements

H 117 x W 178.2 cm

Accession number

NMW A 1

Acquisition method

purchased jointly by the National Gallery and Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales with contributions from: J. Paul Getty Jnr (through the American Friends of the National Gallery, London), the National Heritage Memorial Fund, The Art Fund, Mrs Schreiber, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Moorgate Trusts, Sir Denis Mahon and anonymous donors, 1988

Work type

Painting

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National Museum Cardiff

Cathays Park, Cardiff (Caerdydd) CF10 3NP Wales

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