The Sacrifice of Isaac

Object Details

Title:

The Sacrifice of Isaac

Artist/Maker(s):

Giulio Romano (Giulio Pippi) (Italian, before 1499 - 1546)

Culture:

Italian

Place(s):

Italy (Place created)

Date:

about 1516 - 1518

Medium:

Red chalk

Dimensions:

28.3 x 19.1 cm (11 1/8 x 7 1/2 in.)

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To test Abraham's faith, God ordered him to sacrifice his only child Isaac. Abraham bound Isaac, laid him on the altar, and drew his knife to kill him. At that moment, an angel appeared and held back Abraham's hand, saying, "Now I know you are a God-fearing man, as you have not withheld your only son from me." Giulio Romano captured the scene's drama through the energetic swoop of the angel that hovers over Abraham's head. Abraham peers up astonished, while Isaac cowers on the stone altar. The figures all have squat, stocky proportions, broad faces, and hair and beards composed of solid, horn-like locks and curls. Some scholars speculate that Raphael, Giulio's master, may have begun the drawing, allowing his student to finish it. The drawing was probably made in preparation for a print. The artist used a stylus to outline the scene at first, then fleshed out the composition more fully in red chalk. An existing engraving corresponds in size and detail to this work.

Exhibitions
16-17th Century European Drawings (December 28, 1993 to March 13, 1994)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), December 28, 1993 to March 13, 1994, (Cat.)
Roma e lo stile classico di Raffaello 1515-1527 (March 21 to September 5, 1999)
  • Centro Internazionale d'Arte e di Cultura di Palazzo Te, (Mantua), March 21 to May 30, 1999, (Cat. will be displayed at Italian venue only)
Giulio Romano, Master Designer (1499-1546) (September 14 to November 27, 1999)
  • Hunter College Art Gallery, (New York), September 14 to November 27, 1999, (Cat.)
Raphael and his Influence Across the Centuries (October 31, 2000 to January 7, 2001)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 31, 2000 to January 7, 2001, (Cat.)
Drawing the Classical Figure (December 23, 2008 to March 8, 2009)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 23, 2008 to March 8, 2009, (Cat.)
The Secret Life of Drawings (November 23, 2010 to February 13, 2011)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 23, 2010 to February 13, 2011, (Cat.)