Rebecca at the Well
Sebastiano Galeotti (Florence 1676 -Mondovì 1741/6)
The story of Rebecca at the well comes from the Book of Genesis. The aged Abraham, wanting a wife for his son Isaac, sent his servant Eliezer to his homeland of Mesopotamia to find a suitable woman. Rebecca, shown here in a pale mauve dress with a gold cloak, generously offers water to Eliezer proving herself to be worthy bride for Isaac. Lord and Lady Iliffe purchased large paintings such as this to hang in their home at Basildon Park, sparking a revival of interest in Italian religious painting of the eighteenth century.
Oil painting on canvas, Rebecca at the Well by Sebastiano Galeotti (Florence 1676 -Mondovì 1741/6), signed, on stone in foreground with monogram, 1709 (?). Rebekah (or Rebecca), wearing mauve dress and orange cloak, stands to left of well beside Abraham's seated servant, one of his camels behind him, her water pitcher in front of them. To the right, a child with large pitcher. Set in stormy wooded landscape and framed by pillar on left. The biblical scene is told in the Old Testament's Genesis 24. Eliezer has been sent to Mesopotamia to find a wife for Abraham's son, Issac and when he arrived in Nahor in Chaldea he prayed that whoever gave him and his camels water would be an eligible woman. Rebecca is seen offering Eliezer on the left of the group. Elaborately carved heavy gilt frame
Private collection, Ireland: Colnaghi; by whom sold to Lord & Lady Iliffe; by whom presented to the National Trust, together with the house and grounds of Basildon Park, and a substantial part of their collection of paintings, in 1979
Basildon Park, The Iliffe Collection (National Trust)
Marks and inscriptions
On stone in foreground, ?signed with monogram, ?1709.
Makers and roles
Sebastiano Galeotti (Florence 1676 -Mondovì 1741/6), artist