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Jacob’s dream

  • ‘The Little Spaniard’. ‘Jacob’s Dream’ © Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

    ‘The Little Spaniard’. ‘Jacob’s Dream’ © Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

     
  

Category

Painting

Date

1639

Original title

El sueño de Jacob
Prado Museum
Madrid
Madrid
Madrid

The achievement of this masterpiece by José de Ribera lies in his skill in depicting a biblical episode with a human and realistic approach.

The painting tells of Jacob the Patriarch's mysterious dream as described in Genesis. A shepherd is depicted lying asleep in the countryside. The vision in the foreground of the solidly portrayed figure and the realistic treatment of the scene bring realism to the miraculous dream described as a ray of light.

Ribera gives this work a poetic quality and demonstrates his delicate sense of colour and exquisite skill for composition. This is probably one of the paintings mentioned in 1658 in the inventory of Don Jerónimo de la Torre, and it remained in his family until 1718. It reappeared in 1746 among the paintings of Queen Elisabeth Farnese.
 

Details of the work

Origin
Royal Collection

Object
Painting

Dimensions
179 cm x 233 cm

Technique
Oil

Material
Canvas

  

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