Moses Striking the Rock

Artist: Abraham Bloemaert (Netherlandish, Gorinchem 1566–1651 Utrecht)

Date: 1596

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 31 3/8 x 42 1/2 in. (79.7 x 108 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Purchase, Gift of Mary V. T. Eberstadt, by exchange, 1972

Accession Number: 1972.171


Bloemaert worked in Utrecht and taught many of the leading artists of that city during the course of his long career. This painting is characteristic of the mannerist style which he adopted in the last decade of the sixteenth century. In the middle ground at the left Moses strikes the rock to provide water for the Israelites in the desert. The subject is an Old Testament prototype for salvation through baptism, and the woman with a jug may embody the saving properties of water.