00:00
/
00:00
Blommendael, Reyer Jacobsz. van
The Good Samaritan The Good Samaritan
1635 1635

This painting depicts Jesus’s parable of the Good Samaritan, related in the Gospel of Luke (10:30–35). A traveller, stripped and beaten by robbers, and left languishing at the wayside by two privileged and pious passersby, is eventually rescued by a Samaritan. The story characterizes compassion as a fundamental virtue that transcends the more formal aspects of religious duty. It also underscores the moral obligation to help others in need, regardless of social and cultural differences. The theme of the Good Samaritan was widely popular in European art, and artists usually chose to depict one or other of two moments in the story: the point when the Samaritan initially helps the traveller or, later, when he takes the wounded man to an inn. This painting depicts the earlier episode and shows the traveller lying on the ground, nearly naked, his head bound with a bandage and a stab wound under his ribs. The bearded, turbaned Samaritan kneels behind him and grasps his right arm in an effort to lift him up. As the rescuer looks searchingly into the traveller’s face, his gaze is met by a grimace of relief, both expressions reflecting the powerful human emotions at the core of the parable. To the left stands the donkey that will carry the victim to the inn, and the trees on either side of the composition frame a landscape vista with rolling hills, one of which is surmounted by a fortress.

 
Blommendael, Reyer Jacobsz. van
Amsterdam, Netherlands 1628–Haarlem, Netherlands 1675 Amsterdam, Netherlands 1628–Haarlem, Netherlands 1675
The Good Samaritan The Good Samaritan
1635 1635
Oil on canvas Oil on canvas
height / width: 104.10 x 147.30 cm; 40.98 x 57.99 in.
Gift of Alfred and Isabel Bader, 1988 Gift of Alfred and Isabel Bader, 1988
31-001

Subscribe to our “This Week at Agnes” e-newsletter to stay abreast of events, news and opportunities at the art museum.