BRAY, Salomon de
(b. 1597, Amsterdam, d. 1664, Haarlem)

Eliezer and Rebecca

Oil on canvas, 90 x 156 cm
Musée de la Chartreuse, Douai

The Old Testament story of Eliezer and Rebecca was popular with both painters and printmakers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It was also frequently illustrated inn bibles.

Salomon de Bray's painting shows Rebecca offering Eliezer a drink of water from a large pitcher much like a seventeenth-century Rhineland jar. Rebecca stands before the well near a crumbling wall, which is decorated with a classical relief of a sacrificial scene. A boy walking away from the well glances back at Rebecca and Eliezer; he carries a bucket and a jar spilling its content. On the right are the camels Eliezer brought on his journey. Beside them are three servants, one of the empties a sack of fodder into a trough. On the left women carrying pitchers in their hands and balancing them on their shoulders make their way up the slope.

The picture is related to two, precisely dated preparatory drawings from November 1659.