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Artist: De Bray, Salomon 1 of 1

The Expulsion of Hagar, 1662

Salomon De Bray

Dutch, 1597-1664
Oil on panel
21-1/4 x 18-5/8 in. (54.0 x 47.3 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation, Gift of Mr. Norton Simon
M.1979.45.P
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

Not on view

The story of Hagar was extremely popular in Dutch art because it touched on the basic human feelings of love, jealousy and fear. De Bray depicts the moment when Abraham reluctantly banishes the servant girl Hagar with their son Ishmael as ordered by his wife Sarah following the birth of their legitimate son Isaac, whose inheritance she sought to protect. In this anecdotal presentation, Sarah peers out from the interior of the house as a deeply conflicted Abraham gives a final blessing to his son. De Bray underscores the bond between father and son through the orchestration of their gestures. Hagar, forlorn and tearful, descends stone steps which serve to reinforce the transition awaiting her and Ishmael as they move from home to homelessness.

De Bray was very active in the civic and cultural life of Haarlem where he spent most of his life. In addition to the religious and mythological subjects for which he is best known, he was also active as an architect and published a book on the subject. His skills as a draftsman were considerable and generative as the presence of a lively underdrawing in this panel suggests.

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Artist: De Bray, Salomon 1 of 1