(b. 1528, Verona, d. 1588, Venezia)

The Finding of Moses

c. 1580
Oil on canvas, 50 x 30 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

This small painting, which probably came from the collection of Charles I of England, is one of the earliest and best versions of an Old Testament subject inspired by the works of the painter Bonifazio de'Pitati. Several replicas in Veronese's own hand are known, together with a number of variants and sundry derivations carried out with the help of the workshop.

The scene is a river bank in a highly atmospheric landscape. The story tells of an infant boy left out in a basket on the Nile, who is found by Pharaohs daughter and brought up by her as her own son, Moses. The bridge and city are reminiscent of Verona. The delicately nuanced interplay of light and shade, achieved with a fine brush, unfolds to produce the glowing effect of brilliant jewels.