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Braun, Augustin
The Blinding of Tobit; No. 1 in a series of 6: The Story of Tobit
17th century

Augustin Braun was born in Cologne, Germany and specialized in painting and engraving biblical subjects. His The Blinding of Tobit belongs to a series of six prints related to the apocryphal Book of Tobit. The artist conveys Tobit’s blindness in the left foreground; however, many more visual details in the composition reveal elements of the biblical account. At centre, Anna, Tobit’s wife, marches up a flight of steps carrying a kid in her arms, which she has earned through her spinning. A spinning wheel and a box of yarn lie on the floor opposite to Tobit, underlining Anna’s means of earning a modest income. Between his two parents, Tobias leans against the outside railing of a house, his watchful dog by his side, with a vexed expression on his face. A shovel rests against the newel post near him. Further back in the scene, Tobias digs a hole to bury a man that was slain outside of his home. In the biblical narrative, Tobit is the one to carry out this task, leading him to fall asleep against the outside wall of his dwelling where the droppings of a sparrow—marked by a string of feces emanating from the top left corner in the current work—fall into his eyes causing him to go blind. Prior to these events, Tobit and his family entertain a group of guests over dinner, an episode illustrated in the top right part of the engraving.

 
Braun, Augustin
Cologne, Germany c. 1570-Cologne, Germany 1639
The Blinding of Tobit; No. 1 in a series of 6: The Story of Tobit
17th century
Engraving and etching, state 1 of 1
overall: 21 cm x 26 cm
Purchase, Bader Acquisition Fund, 2010
53-046.006

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