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Eeckhout, Gerbrand van den
Tobit, Anna and the Kid
1652

Among the books of the Apocrypha is the story of the pious but blind and impoverished Tobit, whose wife Anna maintains their household with the income from her spinning. Van den Eeckhout has chosen here to portray the moment when Tobit unjustly accuses Anna of stealing a kid that she actually earned through honest labour (Tobit 2:13). The scene is set in a modestly appointed interior featuring wooden beams and a curving staircase that leads to an upper storey obscured in deep shadow. The stone floor visible at the lower left, where steps descend into the cellar, is covered by wooden planks. Anna, holding the kid in her arms, stands in front of a fireplace where the embers burn low. Her gaze is directed at Tobit, who sits in an armchair beside a table decked in red, a walking stick resting against his right knee. Turning toward his wife, he raises a scolding finger. A spinning wheel stands in the right foreground, beside a small fringed stool. The fire in the hearth has virtually no impact on the lighting of the scene, and the figure of Anna is accentuated by a source of illumination at the left.

 
Eeckhout, Gerbrand van den
Amsterdam, Netherlands 1621–Amsterdam, Netherlands 1674
Tobit, Anna and the Kid
1652
Oil on canvas
overall: 47.6 cm x 39.4 cm
Gift of Alfred and Isabel Bader, 2012
55-013.03

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