The Family of Cain

Peter Oliver British
After Paolo Veronese (Paolo Caliari) Italian

Not on view

Peter Oliver, the leading miniature painter at the court of Charles I, established his reputation with a series of small watercolor copies after old master paintings in the collections of the king and his nobles. "The Family of Cain" reproduces a painting by Paolo Veronese (Museo del Prado, Madrid) presumably in England at that time. No finished watercolor version of this preparatory study is known, but extensive color notes on the back of the sheet suggest that such a work was planned. The assured, softly rendered forms typify Oliver's mature style, with his early, linear manner tempered by close study of Venetian art. The Old Testament subject concerns Cain who has murdered his brother Abel, and now lives as a fugitive with his wife and infant son Enoch in the Land of Nod, east of Eden (Genesis 4.15-17).

The Family of Cain, Peter Oliver (British, London 1589–1647 Isleworth, Middlesex), Pen and black and brown ink, brush and gray wash over red chalk, highlighted with white gouache (bodycolor)

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