Rebecca at the Well

Jan Saenredam, Pieter Jansz. SaenredamCirca 1597

National Museum of Slovenia

National Museum of Slovenia
Ljubljana, Slovenia

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This print is the second in a series of three copper engravings entitled The Wives of Biblical Patriarchs (besides Isaac's wife Rebecca these include Sarah, the wife of his father Abraham, and Leah and Rachel, the wives of Isaac's son Jacob). Attributed to the Dutch engraver Jan Pietersz. Saenredam (1565–1607), the work has until recently been considered to be authored by his countryman Jacob Matham, the stepson of the great and one of the most influential Dutch artists Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617) – signed on the print as its inventor (author of the preparatory drawing). Goltzius' drawing, created in his post-Italian period, also imbued Saendram's graphic style with the Italian spirit.
The motif of Rebecca at the Well originates from Genesis, the First Book of Moses from the Old Testament (Gen. 24:11–23) and illustrates the story of the beautiful Mesopotamian girl chosen by God to be Isaac's bride. The masterfully engraved scene, marked by typical Mannerist grazia, was enhanced with a Latin text by the Dutch humanist, dramatist and Latinist, Cornelius Schonæus.

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  • Title: Rebecca at the Well
  • Creator: Jan Pietersz. Saenredam after Hendrick Goltzius
  • Date: Circa 1597
  • Date Created: Circa 1597
  • Location Created: Netherlands
  • Physical Dimensions: 224 x 161 mm
  • Provenance: Unknown
  • Type: Copper engraving
  • Rights: Narodni muzej Slovenije
  • Medium: Paper sheet