The Return of the Prodigal Son

Image credit: Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives

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The New Testament parable of the Prodigal Son illustrates the theme of Christian forgiveness by telling how a son, having squandered his wealth, returned shamefully to his home where his father forgave and welcomed him. This painting is based on a composition signed by Jacopo Bassano and his son Francesco (held by Galleria Doria Pamphilj, Rome), though with slight variations, for instance in the foodstuffs on the table to the left. It has been attributed to Jacopo's younger son, Leandro Bassano, who became his father's principal assistant from 1578 until he moved to Venice in 1588.

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery



The Return of the Prodigal Son




oil on canvas


H 97.5 x W 134 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased with the assistance of the Friends of Bristol Art Gallery, 1958

Work type



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