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Studies of Provost

 

"Abraham, Sarah and the Angel"

Jan Provost

Mons, Belgium, c. 1465 - Bruges, Belgium, 1529

Flemish Renaissance Realist Painter

 

Oil on wood

Musée du Louvre, Paris

 

Abraham and Sarah were visited by an Angel who explained to them that Sarah would be giving birth to “nations.”  The Angel was sent by God to inform the couple of the impending birth of their son Isaac.  Abraham laughed at the news, as he would be 100 years old at the time of the birth, but Sarah laughed with doubt, as she would be 90 years old.  Her son was to be named “Isaac” for the laughter which Sarah made when her son’s birth was prophesied by the Angel.

 

The “lion” at Abraham’s feet represents power, wisdom and justice.  It is the symbol of the father, a master and guardian.  The flowers represent the budding of new life in the ‘mature’ soon-to-be mother.

 

Abraham and Sarah are both dressed in “red” clothing which represents blood, the symbol of the life-principle.  Red could also represent the ‘womb’ where life and death are transmuted the one into the other.  Red also represents the bright sun with its dazzling strength and power.

 

Abraham points to himself and then to Sarah as the Angel explains the miracle about to happen to the two.

 


 

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