The Story of Tobias, Plate 4: The Angel Departing from Tobit and Tobias
6 5/8 x 7 7/8 in. (16.8 x 20 cm)
Jan van de Velde, II,
Moyses van Wtenbrouck,
Medium and Support:
Etching and Engraving
Label for "Printmakers of the Baroque: 17th-Century Explorations of Space and Light", La Salle University Art Museum, December 16, 2013 – February 28th, 2014:
In this print of the final scene from the Book of Tobit, Tobias’ blind father Tobit has regained his sight. The angel Raphael had been instrumental in restoring the old man’s health, and also the family’s good fortune, by helping Tobias obtain a medicinal cure. However, Raphael did not reveal himself as an angel until all had been accomplished. The print captures the moment he reveals his true nature, as a light-filled creature, returning to the heavens. Below him, bathed in the divine light, kneel the startled father and son.
A still life of a well-crafted metal serving dish and some ewers can be seen in the lower left. A donkey, cows and horned sheep, all oddly shadowed in the angel’s glow, surround the father and son. They are indicators that 17th-century Dutch viewers would recognize as signs that the family’s material wealth was restored. Historians have noted that the story of Tobit and Tobias was one that had resonance for the Dutch, accustomed to living with economic ups and downs.
Amanda Hershock, '17