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Possily King Uzziah Stricken with Leprosy

after Rembrandt van Rijn (Leiden 1606 – Amsterdam 1669)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

1635 - 1659

Materials

Oil on canvas

Measurements

991 x 921 mm (39 x 36 1/4 in)

Place of origin

Rome

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Collection

Kingston Lacy Estate, Dorset (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Kingston Lacy Estate, Dorset, South West, National Trust

NT 1257105

Caption

The flecks on the old man's face, who has traditionally been called a rabbi or oriental, are not just discolourations of the paint, but are thought to represent leprosy. Therefore, it has been suggested he is King Uzziah, King of Judah from 787 to 736 BC, who, according to the biblical story in Chronicles 26: 16-20, was stricken with the disease after burning incense in the temple of Jerusalem, a privilege for priests only. Or Naaman, the commander of the army of the King of Damascus, a leper who was cured after bathing seven times in the River Jordan, after the advice of Elisha, a disciple of the prophet Eliijah, known to perform miracles, according to the biblical story, told in the Book of Kings. However, Cardinal Mazarin, said to be the most powerful man in France when he died in 1661, owned the original painting by Rembrandt of around 1639, now in the Devonshire collection at Chatsworth. Then, it was called, ‘the portrait of a Pasha’, a Turk.

Summary

Oil painting on canvas, Possibly King Uzziah Stricken with Leprosy, after Rembrandt van Rijn (Leyden 1606 – Amsterdam 1669). The flecks on the man's face are not just discolourations of the paint, but are thought to represent leprosy; it might therefore also represent the opulent Naaman, whom Elisha healed of his leprosy. The original of around 1639, on panel, is at Chatsworth.

Provenance

In the collection of Cardinal Mazarin's sister, Laura Margherita Mazzarini (1608 -1685), in Rome, before being acquired by (Sir) Ralph Bankes, in 1659 as: 'A Coppy of A Turks head from Rainebrand. The orriginall is Cardinall Mazerins...Pnd 20'; bequeathed by Ralph Bankes, 1981

Credit line

Kingston Lacy, The Bankes Collection (National Trust)

Marks and inscriptions

REMBRANDT (painted in black on fixed gilt label, centred under image)

Makers and roles

after Rembrandt van Rijn (Leiden 1606 – Amsterdam 1669), artist

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