(b. 1649, Paris, d. 1717, Paris)
Oil on canvas, 154 x 218 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg
Jephthah was a great Old Testament (Judges 11:30-40) warrior, who was called upon to lead the Israelites in their war against the Ammonites. On the eve of the battle he made a pact with God, that, in return for victory, he would sacrifice 'the first creature that comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return'. The battle won, 'who should come out to meet him with tambourines and dances but his daughter, and she only a child'.