Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Laban Looking for the Images and Making a Covenant with Jacob from The Story of Jacob series

Woven by CT or TC, Brussels
Flemish, Brussels
Wool, silk (18 warps per inch, 6–7 per cm.)
H. 151 x W. 127 inches (383.5 x 322.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Amy Warren Patterson, 1981
Accession Number:
Not on view
The story of Jacob as depicted in this set of six tapestries (1983.73.1–.6) begins with the scene of Esau selling his birthright to Jacob (Gen. 25:29–34). Esau, the hunter, sits with his bow and quiver at his feet. He clasps hands with Jacob, his brother, who is clad in the starred robe that will identify him throughout the story. By this handshake Esau and Jacob seal their agreement, and the former accepts a bowl of food in exchange for his birthright as firstborn. The secondary scenes represent different moments in time and serve to advance the story. In the center distance Esau is shown hunting with two dogs. To the right, Rebecca, mother of Esau and Jacob, is seen cooking outside the tent, probably preparing food for Jacob to present o his father, Isaac (Gen. 27).

The narrative continues to unfold in the other tapestries, which depict Rachel giving her servant Bilhah to Jacob (Gen. 30:1–4), Rachel and Bilhah with her son Dan, and Jacob making a covenant with his father-in-law
Marking: (lower left guard) Brussels mark in silk of pink shield flanked by yellow B's

Unidentified weaver's mark (inset into upper right guard) see Media
Commodore Morton F. Plant (until 1939; sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, October 27– 28, 1939, nos. 290-95); Mr. and Mrs. Charles C. Paterson (before 1957) ; Amy Warren Paterson (until 1981; bequeathed to MMA)
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