Jephthah's Daughter

Italian (Florentine) School
National Trust Inventory Number 609002

Category Art / Oil paintings
Date 1600 - 1699
Materials Oil on canvas
Measurements 933 x 711 mm (36 3/4 x 28 in)
Place of origin Florence
Collection Attingham Park, Shropshire (Accredited Museum)
On show at Attingham Park, Shropshire, Midlands, National Trust

The book of Judges in the Bible relates how Jephthah had vowed to sacrifice to God the first person he saw when he returned from defeating the Ammonites. Tragically, he is greeted by his daughter, who ‘came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances’. She can be identified by an inscription in Latin on her belt. Although she is here shown making music with a percussion instrument, her woeful expression suggests that she is already aware of her fate. That she is so beautiful, renders the sacrifice all the more tragic.

The picture must have been painted by a Florentine artist, who was working in the manner of Domenichino.

Summary description

Oil painting on canvas, Jephthah's Daughter, Italian (Florentine) School, 17th century. Inscribed on her belt: VIRGINUM APUD ISR[AEL] / CELEBRATISIMA JEPTHE / FILIA∙ JUDICUM CAP XIA. A three-quarter-length portrait of young woman, dancing and playing music, as the daughter of Jephthah whom he later sacrifices during the war of the Israelites against the Ammonites (Judges 11: 30-40). She is turned to the left, head facing, with black hair. She is wearing a brightly-coloured red and blue jagged striped dress decorated with jewels and holds a musical triangle in her left hand.


In Dix 1847 catalogue; 1913 Inventory p.65; bequeathed to the National Trust with the estate, house and contents of Attingham by Thomas Henry Noel-Hill, 8th Baron Berwick (1877-1947) on 15th May 1953.

Credit line

Attingham Park, The Berwick Collection (National Trust)

Marks and inscriptions

On frame: 66 and 41
On stretcher (middle): ATT/P/66
On stretcher (bottom): ATT/P/066
On reverse of frame (top): 16 and 45
On reverse of frame (bottom): ATT/P/066

Makers and roles

Italian (Florentine) School, artist


Dix 1847 David Edmund Dix, A Catalogue of Paintings and Engravings Attingham. [Signed and dated] David Edmund Dix. 8th Decr 1847, p.12

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Place of origin Florence (260)
Materials Oil paint (8515)
Canvas (10101)
Giltwood (3918)
Category Art / Oil paintings (12620)
Collection Attingham Park, Shropshire (Accredited Museum) (9703)
Periods 17th century (33318)
Maker Italian (Florentine) School (35)
Subjects Religion (787)
Object Type Oil painting (14400)

Record Status


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