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Camille Corot - Hagar in the Wilderness [1835] | by Gandalf's Gallery
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Camille Corot - Hagar in the Wilderness [1835]

This picture, shown at the Salon of 1835, is the earliest of four large, ambitious biblical paintings that Corot exhibited in the 1830s and 1840s. It illustrates the story of the family of Abraham, the father of Israel. Hagar, the servant of Abraham's wife, Sarah, bore him a son, Ishmael. Later, when Isaac was born to Sarah, she drove Hagar and Ishmael into the desert of Beersheba. For this painting, Corot chose the moment of divine salvation of the mother and child.

 

Corot began this work just before his second trip to Italy (1834) and finished it in Paris. The arid scene is based in part on sketches he made outside Rome in 1825–28. It also recalls barren areas of the forest of Fontainebleau that he had begun to paint in the early 1820s.

 

[Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York - Oil on canvas, 180.3 x 270.5 cm]

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Taken on April 7, 2001