PIAZZETTA, Giovanni Battista
(b. 1682, Venezia, d. 1754, Venezia)

The Sacrifice of Isaac

c. 1715
Oil on canvas, 100 x 126 cm
Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza, Pedralbes

The painting portrays Isaac, naked in the centre, at the moment when he is about to be sacrificed by his father Abraham, who is held back by the angel. The figures have a great intensity and individuality, much use is being made of their different poses. Thus Abraham is shown with his body tensed and his face contorted, in the arm holding the knife, we can see the force required to hold it back. Isaac, on the contrary, is shown as having fainted, his body limp and heavy, falling onto his father. The group is well integrated and the volumes are modelled from by contrasts of light and shade. The palette of earth tones, browns and reds is also characteristic of Piazzetta.

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