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Maker Once Known
The Sacrifice of Manoah The Sacrifice of Manoah
c.1720 c.1720

The account of the Hebrew hero Samson in the Book of Judges begins with the appearance of an angel in the form of a man, prophesying to a woman in a field the arrival of her remarkable son. The woman’s husband, Manoah, joins his wife on a second visit to the field to meet the man, who confirms his prophecy and instructs them on the Nazirite way of life their son is to follow. When Manoah then sacrifices a kid as a burnt offering to the Lord, the man suddenly rises up to heaven in the flames from the altar, revealing his divine nature to the astonished couple. Here, the dismembered kid rests on the altar, spouting flames. The three figures, in three-quarter length, crowd the frame, with Manoah at the left edge raising his hands in astonishment, his face cast in shadow as he turns away from the angel and looks across to his wife. She, richly dressed in a gold-trimmed gown and sporting a lavish hairdo and embroidered headdress, likewise raises her hands in astonishment as she turns her smooth face slightly toward the angel’s. The dynamic pose of the angel, turning his face upward and forming a powerful diagonal thrust with his upswept arm, accentuated by the fluttering drapery in the upper right corner, imbues the entire composition with pulsating energy.

 
Maker Once Known
Venice, Italy Venice, Italy
The Sacrifice of Manoah The Sacrifice of Manoah
c.1720 c.1720
Oil on canvas Oil on canvas
height / width: 128.00 x 117.50 cm; 50.39 x 46.26 in.
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Alfred Bader, 1976 Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Alfred Bader, 1976
19-027

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