Inventory number
P06312
Author
Bassano, Jacopo
Title
The Israelites drinking the Miraculous Water
Chronology
1563-1565
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimensions
146 cm x 230 cm
School
Italian
Theme
Religion
On display
No
Provenance
Royal Collection

This painting depicts two episodes. In the middle ground, Moses and Aaron direct the Israelites toward the Promised Land (Exodus 13, 21-22). In the foreground, far from the journey, persons and animals quench their thirst in the fountain that Moses caused to flow from the boulder at Mount Horeb (Exodus 17, 1-7)

Some critics see this as a merely decorative work, while others believe that the image of the human and animal figures quenching their thirst represent a grave warning about the weakness of "homo carnalis", always ready to succumb to worldly pleasure, while the presence of Moses and Aaron leading their people would tie in with the Counterreformation's emphasis on social hierarchy.

This work was listed at Madrid's Alcázar Palace in 1636.

 
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