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Lot and his Daughters
Furini, Francesco
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Furini, Francesco

Florence, 1603 - Florence, 1646

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Lot and his Daughters

Ca. 1634. Oil on canvas.
Room 005

An outstanding work in Francesco Furini’s oeuvre and one of the most sensual and morbid of all Italian Baroque paintings, Lot and his daughters, c.1634, depicts the Old Testament story of Lot (Genesis 19:30-38), who escaped the destruction of Sodom thanks to a warning from the angels charged with its obliteration. Lot’s wife, who failed to obey their order not to look back, was turned into a pillar of salt, while Lot made a new home with his daughters in a cave. Having lost their respective husbands when Sodom perished, the two daughters decided to inebriate their elderly father and have sex with him in order to assure the continuance of their lineage.

This theme permitted Baroque painters to legitimately depict nude women in sensual poses, and such works became very popular in seventeenth-century Florence. Among the numerous versions of this account, Furini’s stands out for its original approach, devoid of moralistic censure. The composition lacks any specific spatial setting, focusing instead on the more-than-half-length figures of its three protagonists, which occupy almost the entire painting. That effect would originally have been even more accentuated, as the background canvas was extended on the upper and left sides before the end of the seventeenth century. The similarity between Lot’s figure and one of the saints on a panel from the altar of the Virgin of the Rosary at the church of Santo Stefano in Empoli, which Furini painted in 1634, makes it possible to date the Prado’s work. Both nudes are highly naturalistic and reveal the artist’s precise knowledge of the works of Antiquity, especially the Medici Venus, first century BC, a Hellenistic statue at the Uffizi, Florence.

The relationships between the three characters are expressed through the use of typically Baroque gestures. With vacant eyes, Lot rests his hands on his daughters’ shoulder and back, respectively. His daughter on the right holds a silver bottle in one hand and offers a goblet to her father with the other. Her sister gently lower’s Lot’s clothes, touching his chest while looking at him with an insinuating gaze. This work is a fine example of Furini’s oeuvre, as his biblical and mythological paintings often included many idealised naked forms, which brought him success in select Florentine circles. Also very characteristic of this artist is the glow that seems to emanate from the nude bodies. Unlike the directed and external light in Caravaggio’s works, which defines volume, Furini’s chiaroscuro emerges from a luminescent force then extends like a sort of mist, obscuring the background. The vibrant lapis lazuli background is also characteristic of Furini, who used it to emphasise the sensuality of his figures’ exquisite white skin.

This work bears witness to a sensitive observation of life, accentuating the delicate, tactile sensation of the bodies. A good illustration of Furini’s attention to detail is the slight redness of the joints and the pale reflection along the inside of the left arm of the daughter whose back is turned to the viewer. There are also many subtle details, such as the manner in which the latter’s reddish hair is reinforced by its darker red ribbon, or the lock that escapes from the other sister’s pulled-back hair, casting its shadow on her cheek. The painting was almost certainly commissioned around 1634 by Ferdinand II, Grand Duke of Tuscany, who gave it to Philip IV of Spain when he married Mariana of Austria in 1649. In 1701 it was at the Buen Retiro Palace, Madrid, and in 1792 Charles IV ordered it to be moved, with other nudes, to a private room at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. From there it entered the Museo del Prado in 1827.

Pancorbo, A, Francesco Furini 'Lot and his daughters' En:. Italian masterpieces from Spain's royal court, Museo del Prado, National Gallery of Victoria Thames & Hudson, 2014, p.170

Technical data

Inventory number
Furini, Francesco
Lot and his Daughters
Ca. 1634
Height: 123 cm; Width: 120 cm
Royal Collection (Buen Retiro Palace, Madrid, 1701; New Royal Palace, Madrid, Studio of Andrés de la Calleja, 1772, no. 378).

Bibliography +

Inventario de las Pinturas del Museo Hecho a la Muerte del Rey, Madrid, 1834, pp. 42.

Anuario de los Museos Austriacos, XXVII, 1907.

Giglioli, O.H., I Disegni Della R. Galleria Degli Uffizi a Firenze, Leo S.Olschki Editore, Florencia, 1914.

Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon : die bildenden Künstler aller Z, Saur, 1916, pp. 196.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Pintura italiana del S. XVII en España, Universidad Fundación Valdecilla, Madrid, 1965, pp. 496.

Harris, Enriqueta, Acerca de 'Lot y su hijas' de Furini, ARCHIVO ESPAÑOL DE ARTE / ARCHIVO ESPAÑOL DE ARTE Y ARQUEOLOGIA, 43, 1970, pp. 339.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Pintura italiana del siglo XVII: exposición conmemorativa del ciento cincuenta aniversario de la fundación del Museo del Prado, Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, Madrid, 1970, pp. 264.

Salas, Xavier de, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

Bigongiari, Piero, Il Seicento Fiorentino. Tra Galileo e Il Recitar Cantando. I, Sansoni Editore, Florencia, 1982, pp. 83-98/ lám.88.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 231.

Bigongiari, P., Il Seicento Fiorentino. Arte a Firenze Da Ferdinando i a Cos, Cantini.C.Raffaello e S.Fiorentino, Florencia, 1986, pp. 272.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado. Inventario general de pinturas (I) La Colección Real, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990, pp. nº848.

Buendía, José Rogelio, El Prado. Colecciones de Pintura, Lunwerg Editores, Barcelona, 1994, pp. 312.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Velázquez, Rubens, Lorrain: Malerei am Hof Philipps IV, Kunst-und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deu, Bonn, 1999, pp. 192.

Costamagna, Philippe, La collection des peintures d'une famille florentine établie à Rome. L'Inventarie après décès du Duc Anton Maria Salviati dressé en 1704', Nuovi studi, Anno V n.8, 2000, pp. 177-233 [182 nt.52 l.228].

Portús Pérez, Javier, La sala reservada y el desnudo en el Museo del Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Turner, Madrid, 2002, pp. 126.

Un' altra bellezza : Francesco Furini, Mandragora, Florencia, 2007, pp. 200.

Lágrimas de Eros, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza: Fundac, 2009.

Per Francesco Furini, Paragone, st-no, 2009.

Pancorbo, A, Francesco Furini 'Lot and his daughters' En:, Italian masterpieces from Spain's royal court, Museo del Prado, National Gallery of Victoria Thames & Hudson, 2014, pp. 170.

Portús Pérez, Javier, Displaying the Nude in Spain 1550-1834. The Sala Reservada, en: Splendor, Myth, and Vision: Nudes from the Prado, Clark Art Institute; Museo Nacional del Prado, 2016, pp. 50-66 [58].

Pancorbo, A, 'Francesco Furini. Loth and his daughters'' En:, Splendor, Myth, and Vision : Nudes from the Prado, Clark Art Institute ; Museo Nacional del Prado,, 2016, pp. 168-171 n.25.

Burke, Jill, The European Nude 1400-1650, en: Splendor, Myth, and Vision: Nudes from the Prado, Clark Art Institute ; Museo Nacional del Prado, 2016, pp. 16-49 [36,42].

Burke, Jill, The European Nude 1400-1650, en: Splendor, Myth, and Vision: Nudes from the Prado, Clark Art Institute ; Museo Nacional del Prado, 2016, pp. 16-49 [42].

Stanghellini, Arturo, Francesco Furini. Pittore, L.Lazzeri, Siena, pp. 37.

Other inventories +

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 161.
161.-Lot y sus hijas. / Alto 1,23. Ancho 1,20.-Lienzo. / (Génesis, cap. XIX.)Una de ellas, vuelta de espaldas, con un precioso jarro en una mano, presenta con la otra á su padre una copa llena de vino; su hermana, en ademan persuasivo, separa el manto que cubre el pecho al anciano, y fija en él la mirada, como para seducirle. El padre las abraza á ambas.-Figuras de tamaño natural y más de medio cuerpo. / Colec. de Cárlos III, Pal. nuevo de Madrid. Estudio del pintor La Calleja. -En el Invent. de dicha Colec. se atribuyó á la escuela de Correggio. / F. L.

Inv. Carlos III, Palacio Nuevo, 1772. Núm. 378.
Estudio de don Andres de la Calleja [...] [13304] 378 / Otro de Lot con sus dos hijas de mas de medio cuerpo de vara y tercia en quadro original escuela de Corecho = numero blanco = entregada en el Retiro en 16 de abril de 1777

Academia, Sala Reservada, 1827. Núm. 84.
Lot y sus dos Hijas. / [Autor] Francº. Furino / [Alto] 4 [pies]

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 848.
Furini (Francisco). / 848. Lot y sus hijas. / Una de ellas esta vuelta de espaldas, y la otra de perfil, teniendo en medio a su padre que abraza a ambas. (Figuras de medio cuerpo). / Alto 4 pies, 5 pulg; ancho 4 pies, 3 pulg, 6 lin.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1854-1858. Núm. 848.

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos II, Buen Retiro, 1701-1703. Núm. s. n..
[378] Una Pinttura de Uara y quarta en quadro Con la historia de lot y sus dos hijas quando le embriagaron de manera de corezo Con marco negro tasada en Zien doblones ... 6000

Inscriptions +

[¿691? =muy borrada]
Front, lower right corner

Exhibitions +

Splendor, Myth and Vision: Nudes from the Prado
Williamstown MA
12.06.2016 - 10.10.2016

Italian Masterpieces from Spain's Royal Court. Museo Nacional del Prado
16.05.2014 - 31.08.2014

Lagrimas de Eros
20.10.2009 - 31.01.2010

Un' Altra Bellezza: Francesco Furini
19.12.2007 - 26.04.2008

Velázquez, Rubens, Claudio de Lorena y la pintura en la corte de Felipe IV
07.10.1999 - 23.01.2000

Seicento Firentino
20.12.1986 - 17.05.1987

Location +

Room 005 (On Display)

Update date: 03-09-2022 | Registry created on 02-12-2015

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