LASTMAN, Pieter Pietersz.
(b. 1583, Amsterdam, d. 1633, Amsterdam)
The Angel and Tobias with the Fishc. 1625
Oil on wood, 34,3 x 59 cm
Szépmûvészeti Múzeum, Budapest
In this small painting Lastman depicts the Biblical story, very popular in the circle of Elsheimer whose influence can be seen on this picture, too.
The story is recounted in the Book of Tobit. Tobias was sent by his father Tobit to Media to recover a sum of money he had hidden there earlier. Archangel Raphael, sent by God to help Tobit and his family, asked Tobit (who did not recognize the angel) whether he may escort his son on his journey and, in company with Tobias' faithful hound, they departed together. They reached the Tigris, where Tobias was attacked by a gigantic fish. The archangel ordered him to capture it and had him remove and conserve its gall, heart and liver. The innards proved to be a medicine which he can use to restore his father's sight.