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Tobias and the Angel

Artist:
Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851–1938)
Date:
1887
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
24 1/8 x 40 1/8 in. (61.3 x 101.9 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Edward D. Adams, 1919
Accession Number:
19.171.1
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 766
Dewing’s painting responds to a biblical story from the book of Tobit. After the elderly Tobit was blinded by sparrow dung, his son, Tobias—accompanied by a dog and the angel Raphael, disguised as a young man—traveled to Media to collect a debt for his father’s support. While bathing in the river Tigris, Tobias was startled by a fish. Raphael instructed him to seize the fish and save the heart, liver, and gall. Later, Tobias used the organs to drive an evil spirit away from Sara, his future wife, and then to restore his father’s sight. Dewing minimizes narrative and focuses only on the progress of Tobias and the angel across a meadow.
Signature: [at lower left]: T.W. Dewing / 1887
Edward Dean Adams, New York, 1887–1919
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