The angel is pointing out to Hagar the spring which was to revive her dying son Ishmael.

The picture is very delicately painted throughout and, despite the evidence of detailed preparation in a drawing for the child in the Dusseldorf Kunstmuseum, shows a number of pentimenti. It is dated 1630-1632 on grounds of style, and is thus contemporary with Sacchi's most famous works, the Divina Sapienza ceiling in the Palazzo Barberini and the altarpiece of the Vision of Saint Romuald in the Vatican. Bellori includes it among the works Sacchi painted for Cardinal Antonio Barberini, a nephew of Urban VIII, who later gave Sacchi permanent employment as a member of his household.

Provenance

Barberini; P & D Colnaghi.


National Museum Cardiff

Cathays Park, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, CF10 3NP
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