TIEPOLO, Giovanni Battista
(b. 1696, Venezia, d. 1770, Madrid)

The Three Angels Appearing to Abraham

1724-29
Fresco, 4000 x 2000 cm
Palazzo Patriarcale, Udine

This scene was painted in one of the narrow wall panels in the Gallery.

Abraham kneels in prayer, awed by the appearance of the three angels, who float on a very solid-looking white cloud. The scene illustrates both the promise to make Abraham "a father of many nations" and the favour shown by God towards him, as described in the book of Genesis. Although the divine origin of the angels is made clear by their being placed in the upper portion of the picture, Tiepolo has portrayed them with very human features.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 4 minutes):
César Franck: Panis angelicus