The J. Paul Getty Museum

Lot and His Daughters

Object Details


Lot and His Daughters


Orazio Gentileschi (Italian, 1563 - 1639)




Italy (Place Created)


about 1622


Oil on canvas

Object Number:



151.8 × 189.2 cm (59 3/4 × 74 1/2 in.)

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Object Description

From the safety of the cave where they have taken refuge, Lot’s daughters appear absorbed by an event taking place beyond the painting’s borders—God’s annihilation of the city of Sodom, burning in the distance. Believing that they alone survive to perpetuate the human race, the daughters have plied their father with alcohol, to aid their incestuous seduction of him. Each will later bear Lot a son: Moab and Ammon, the founders of tribes often pitted against Israel. Depictions of Lot and his Daughters were popular in seventeenth-century Europe because they provided a righteous context in which to illustrate a social taboo. The subject is often interpreted as a mere pretext for artists to engage with an erotic theme, but the absence of nudity or palpable sensuality in this scene suggests that Gentileschi’s intentions were otherwise.

Gentileschi was born in Pisa, but settled in Rome in about 1576. From around 1600, he began to absorb the powerful naturalism of Caravaggio, subsequently becoming one of his closest and most successful followers. However, Gentileschi never gave himself over fully to the uncompromising Caravaggesque style, and maintained traits more characteristic of his native Tuscany; a poetic, refined aesthetic that incorporated a rich blend of highly pitched cool and warm colors.

A pendant piece to this work, Danaë and the Shower of Gold is also in the Getty’s collection. Both paintings were commissioned by the nobleman Giovanni Antonio Sauli in 1621 for his Palazzo in Genoa, along with a third, The Penitent Magdalene, which is today in a private collection.

about 1622 - 1661

Giovanni Antonio Sauli, 1596 - 1661 (Genoa, Italy), by inheritance to his son, Francesco Maria Sauli, 1661.

1661 - 1699

Francesco Maria Sauli, 1622 - 1699 (Genoa, Italy), by inheritance to Domenico Maria Ignazio Sauli.


Domenico Maria Ignazio Sauli, 1675 - 1760, by inheritance to Domenico Sauli.


Domenico Sauli, 1739 - 1769, by inheritance to Paolino Sauli II.


Paolino Sauli II, 1765 - 1843, by inheritance to Costantino Sauli.

- possibly in 1852

Costantino Sauli, 1793 - 1853

early 20th century

Teophilatos Collection (Genoa, Italy)

1920s -

Margaret Pole (Diano Marina (near Genoa), Italy)

- 1986

Jean Milne (England), by inheritance to her niece.

1986 - 1998

Niece of Jean Milne (Hertfordshire, England), sold through Johnny van Haeften (London, England) to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1998.

Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi: Father, Daughter (October 15, 2001 to September 15, 2002)
  • Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Venezia (Rome), October 15, 2001 to January 20, 2002
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), February 11 to May 12, 2002
  • Saint Louis Art Museum (Saint Louis), June 15 to September 15, 2002
Orazio Gentileschi in Genoa: Paintings for the Palazzo Sauli (October 1, 2002 to January 15, 2003)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 1, 2002 to January 15, 2003

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Ratti, Carlo Giuseppe. Instruzione di quanto può vedersi di più bello in Genova in pittura, scultura, ed architettura. 2nd ed. (Genoa: Arnaldo Forni Editore, 1780), p. 112.

Bissell, R. Ward. "Orazio Gentileschi and the Theme of 'Lot and his Daughters.'" Bulletin of the National Gallery of Canada 14 (1969), pp. 18, 20, fig. 5; pp. 30-31, app. 1, no. 1, app. 2, no. 1.

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Bissell, R. Ward. Orazio Gentileschi and the Poetic Tradition in Caravaggesque Painting (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1981), pp. 174-75, no. 47, fig. 102.

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Export of Works of Art 1997-98: Forty-fourth Report of the Reviewing Committee [...] (London: HMSO, 1998), pp. 7, 24-26, no. 7, pl. 7.

Finaldi, Gabriele, ed. Orazio Gentileschi at the Court of Charles I, exh. cat. (London: National Gallery, 1999), p. 62, under no. 5, entry by Gabriele Finaldi.

"Art Special." Los Angeles Magazine (November 1999), p. 109, ill.

Leonard, Mark, Narayan Khandekar, and Dawson W. Carr. "'Amber Varnish' and Orazio Gentileschi's 'Lot and his daughters.'" Burlington Magazine 143, no. 1174 (January 2001), pp. 4-10, figs. 1, 5-8 and cover ill.

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Christiansen, Keith. "The Art of Orazio Gentileschi." In Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi, exh. cat. Keith Christiansen and Judith W. Mann, eds. (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, with Yale University Press, 2001), pp. 21, 24, 26-27, figs. 12, 13.

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Christiansen, Keith, and Judith W. Mann, eds. Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi, exh. cat. (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, with Yale University Press, 2001), p. 144, under no. 27, entry by Livia Carloni; pp. 160, 162, under no. 34, entry by Livia Carloni; p. 172, entry by Mary Newcome; p. 176, under no. 35, entry by Mary Newcome; pp. 180-84, no. 37, entry by Mary Newcome; p. 232, under no. 46, entry by Jeremy Wood; pp. 242, 244, under no. 49, entry by Jeremy Wood.

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