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Ferdinand Bol

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Gideon's Sacrifice

Ferdinand Bol, Dutch, (June 24, 1616–August 24,1680)

Creation date: ca. 1642-1643
Creation place: Netherlands

Other Information

Type: Etching
Medium and Support: Etching
Credit Line: Gift of George C. Kenney II and Olga Kitsakos-Kenney
Accession Number: 1998.119
Dimensions: 8 1/8 in. x 6 1/2 in. (20.64 cm x 16.51 cm)


George C. Kenney II, La Jolla, California ( - December 28, 1998)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (December 28, 1998 - )

Label Copy

In the Old Testament story of Gideon, an angel was sent by God to convince Gideon that he must save the Israelites by fighting their enemies. At first, Gideon did not recognize the messenger as an angel but followed his directions and prepared a sacrifice, which was miraculously consumed by fire, and the angel then vanished. Bol sought to capture that climactic moment as Gideon recognized the divine messanger.

As in many of Bol's earliest prints, he borrowed figures and ideas from the work of his master. The figure of Gideon is drawn directly from Rembrandt's Angel leaving Tobias, and the angel derives from the Angel appearing to the Shepherds. The sketchy quality of Bol's angel, delineated with minimum detail, is likewise borrowed from Rembrandt, a clever adaptation because the technique was particularly apt for an angel in the act of disappearing.
Last Updated: 3/23/2010


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