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Abraham Entertaining the Angels by Rembrandt van Rijn Abraham Entertaining the Angels by Rembrandt van Rijn  
         

Angels (detail) by Rembrandt van Rijn
Rembrandt van Rijn, Abraham Entertaining the Angels (detail), 1656, etching and drypoint, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Rosenwald Collection 1943.3.7160

 

 

Rembrandt followed an unusual interpretation that appeared in the Dutch States Bible of 1637: rather than depicting three similar angels, each is unique. God is represented as a large, bearded man. He is given center stage as the dominant figure who has come to speak directly to Abraham.

The distinctive facial features and arrangement of the angelsseated in a semicircle on the ground before a platter of foodare adapted from a Moghul miniature painting in Rembrandt's own collection. He often sought out Middle Eastern sources and motifs to make biblical images historically resonant.



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