Carel Fabritius, largely considered Rembrandt’s most talented pupil, was tragically killed in a gunpowder explosion that razed the city of Delft in 1654. Only a small number of his paintings survive, with Hagar and the Angel the only remaining masterpiece in private hands. In this biblical story taken from the Old Testament, Fabritius vividly captures the moment when Hagar, having run out of water on her flight into the wilderness, fears for the death of her son (Genesis 21:15–19). As she weeps, an angel appears and reveals a natural spring in the landscape. Fabritius depicted hazy rays of light and smoky mist surrounding the angel to convey the sense of a divine apparition coalescing into a physical being.
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