The Scapegoat

Image credit: Manchester Art Gallery

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Vividly coloured depiction of a russet coloured goat on the brink of death. The goat stands in the centre foreground, head lowered, haunches caving in, and tongue hanging out. The desert landscape in which it stands is barren. It is dominated by a range of hills in purple and pink, above which is a yellow and pink sky with a bright sun in the upper left corner and almost black clouds in the right; in contrast to the dark weight of the clouds is a rainbow, which appears in the right of the composition, at the foot of which is the carcass of a camel. To the left of the goat and echoing its inevitable fate is the skull of an ibex, silhouetted against the reflected light of the sun. The goat has been cast out into the wilderness to suffer for the sins of Man.

Manchester Art Gallery



The Scapegoat




oil on canvas


H 33.7 x W 45.9 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased from Thomas Agnew and Sons Ltd, 1906

Work type


Inscription description

Signed in monogram at left bottom corner: Whh


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Normally on display at

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester M2 3JL England

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