Laban Searching for his Stolen Household Gods

Laban Searching for his Stolen Household Gods

c. 1665-1670

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

(Spanish, 1617-1682)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 278 x 398 x 14 cm (109 7/16 x 156 11/16 x 5 1/2 in.); Unframed: 243 x 362 cm (95 11/16 x 142 1/2 in.)

Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1965.469

Description

This story comes from the Old Testament book of Genesis and stresses the value of reconciliation. Jacob lived with his uncle Laban for years, marrying Laban’s daughters Rachel and Leah. When the relationship between the men soured, Jacob and his family departed, while Rachel secretly stole her father’s household gods. When Laban discovered that the statues were missing, he pursued Jacob, accusing him of theft. Here, Jacob invites Laban to search his tent, while Rachel sits on the saddlebag containing the statues. After coming up empty-handed, Laban proposes a truce, ending the squabble.

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