Hagar and the Angel

Francesco Maffei Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 620

Maffei lived and worked in the Italian cities of Vicenza and Padua, but was profoundly influenced by Venetian painting. At its most characteristic, his elegant vision veers into the mannered elongated figure types and loose brushwork seen in this painting above the doorway. This scene from the biblical book of Genesis shows the angel appearing to Hagar, an enslaved woman in Egypt. Banished with her infant Ishmael to the desert by her new husband, Abraham, Hagar was allegedly saved by a heavenly creature who directed her to a spring of water.

Hagar and the Angel, Francesco Maffei (Italian, Vicenza 1605–1660 Padua), Oil on canvas

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