Archangel St. Raphael with Tobias

Joaquim José de Barros (attrib.)18th century

MNAA National Museum of Ancient Art

MNAA National Museum of Ancient Art
Lisbon, Portugal

The image of the Archangel St. Raphael with the young Tobias and a fish alludes to an episode from the Book of Tobias. Sent by God to cure in his name, the archangel accompanied Tobias on his journey when, by the banks of the River Tigris, a fish leapt from the water and attacked Tobias. Raphael ordered him to keep the heart, liver and bile of the fish to himself, which were later used as medicines to return the power of sight to his father, who was blind. Barros Laborão composed the scene with figures depicted in classical clothing and multiplied the points of view, but he also delineated their movements with a graciousness still rococo in style, inspired by sculptures from Bavarian workshops.


  • Title: Archangel St. Raphael with Tobias
  • Creator: Joaquim José de Barros (attrib.)
  • Date Created: 18th century
  • Location Created: Portugal
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: MNAA Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, inv. 234 Esc
  • Medium: Polychrome, gilded and estofado wood; glass eyes

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