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Pencz, Georg
Tobit Burying one of the Children of Israel; No. 2 in a series of 7: The Story of Tobit
1543

In the second plate of his series related to the Book of Tobit, Georg Pencz conveys Tobit and Tobias burying the dead man the latter had found slain earlier that day. Two men wearing hats stand above Tobit mocking him about his lack of fear of being caught burying the man whom the Assyrian King ordered to have killed. These men, neighbours of Tobit’s, raise their hands in disapproval as Tobit is about to lower the dead body into the grave. In the biblical passage (Tobit 2:7-8) Tobias is not present at this scene and the burial takes place at night. However, in his engraving, Pencz has chosen to emphasize the strong affectionate tie that bonds Tobit and Tobias throughout this narrative by showing Tobias assisting his father at the burial site. The time of day represented in Pencz’s work is unclear, as he left most of the sky untouched and the shadows created by the bodies of the two taunting figures are noticeable in the foreground. Pencz opted to highlight the interaction between the figures and their expressions rather than render the biblical story accurately.

 
Pencz, Georg
Breslau, Poland around 1500–Leipzig, Germany 1550
Tobit Burying one of the Children of Israel; No. 2 in a series of 7: The Story of Tobit
1543
Engraving, state 2 of 3
overall: 6.4 cm x 9.8 cm
Purchase, Bader Acquisition Fund, 2010
53-046.063

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