Abraham Leading Isaac to Sacrifice
Domenichino (Domenico Zampieri)
Oil on copper
12 13/16 x 17 7/16 in. (32.5 x 44.3 cm) Framed: 19 3/4 x 24 1/2 x 2 3/4 in. (50.2 x 62.2 x 7 cm)
Currently On View
Domenichino, who is renowned for his large-scale frescoes, history paintings, and altarpieces, became Italy’s leading classical painter in the first half of the seventeenth century. Trained at the Carracci Academy in his native city of Bologna, he came to Rome in 1602 to work under Annibale Carracci at the Farnese Palace. Abraham Leading Isaac to Sacrifice, which appears in the January 1603 inventory of the collection of Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini, the powerful nephew of Pope Clement VIII, was inspired by the naturalistic and carefully constructed landscapes of Annibale. Its composition and refined technique also recall the panoramic landscapes of Flemish artists such as Paul Bril, who had settled in Rome a generation earlier, and anticipate the classical landscapes of Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin. Domenichino depicts Abraham leading his beloved son Isaac to be sacrificed at God’s command (Genesis 22:1–14)––a subject regarded as a prefiguration of God’s own sacrifice of Christ. Later, when Abraham takes up his sword to kill his son, an angel will stop him, indicating a ram as a substitute.
Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini [1572-1621], Villa Aldobrandini, Frascati, and Palazzo Aldobrandini, Rome, by 1603; presumably by inheritance to Giorgio Aldobrandini [d. 1637], Villa Aldobrandini, Frascati, and Palazzo Aldobrandini, Rome; by inheritance to his daughter, Olimpia Aldobrandini-Pamphili [1623-1681], Villa Aldobrandini, Frascati, and Palazzo Aldobrandini, Rome, by 1665; by descent to her son, Cardinal Benedetto Pamphili [1653-1730], Palazzo, via del Corso, Rome, until at least 1710. Louis, duc d’Orléans [1703-1752], Palais Royal, Paris, by 1727; by descent to his son, Louis-Philippe, duc d’Orléans [1725-1785], Paris; by descent to his son, Louis-Philippe-Joseph, duc d’Orléans [1747-1793], Paris; sold to viscount Edouard Walkuers, Brussels, 1792; sold to his cousin, François-Louis-Joseph, marquis de Laborde-Méréville [d. 1801], Paris and London, by 1792; sold to (Jeremiah Harman, London); purchased through (Michael Bryan) by a consortium consisting of Francis Egerton, 3rd duke of Bridgewater [1736-1803], Frederick Howard, 5th earl of Carlisle [1748-1825], and George Granville Leveson-Gower, earl Gower, later marquess of Stafford, and 1st duke of Sutherland [1721-1803], London, by 1798; (sale, Bryan, London, 26 December 1798, no. 91, purchased for 150 guineas by Mr. Ward, possibly bought in). (Possibly Clarke and Hibbert sale, Christie’s, London, 14 May 1802, no. 56, bought in, £131.5). (John Parke, London); (anonymous sale, London, 11 June 1804, no. 18). (Philip Hill, London); (his sale, Christie’s, London, 20 June 1807, no. 78, bought in by Roberts, £210); (his sale, Philip Hill, London, 16 April-11 August 1810, no. 45); (his sale, Christie’s, London, 26 January 1811, no. 42, bought in, £210); (Hill et. al. sale, Christie’s, London, 3 July 1811, no. 93, bought in, 180 guineas). (Possibly Bernard Pinney, London); (sale, Christie’s, London, 30 June 1820, no. 95). Litt, London; (sale, Christie’s, London, 14 July 1828, no. 100); purchased for £152.5 by William Wilkins [1778-1839], Norwich and Cambridge, England; (his sale, Christie & Manson, London, 7 April 1838, no. 22); purchased for £204.15 by Sir Henry Petty-FitzMaurice, 3rd marquess of Lansdowne, earl of Shelburne [1780-1863], Bowood,House Wiltshire, England; by descent to his son, Henry Petty-FitzMaurice, 4th marquess of Lansdowne, earl of Shelburne [1816-1866], Bowood House, Wiltshire, England; by descent to his son, Henry Charles Keith Petty-FitzMaurice, 5th marquess of Lansdowne, earl of Shelburne [1845-1927], Bowood House, Wiltshire, England; by descent to his son, Henry William Edmond Petty-FitzMaurice, 6th marquess of Lansdowne, earl of Shelburne [1872-1936], Bowood House, Wiltshire, England; by descent to his son, Charles Hope Petty-FitzMaurice, 7th marquess of Lansdowne, earl of Shelburne [1917-1944], Bowood House, Wiltshire, England; by descent to his 1st cousin, George John Charles Mercer Nairne-Petty-FitzMaurice, 8th marquess of Lansdowne, earl of Shelburne [1912-1999], Bowood House, Wiltshire, England; purchased through (Thomas Agnew & Sons, London) by the Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth, 1982.