The J. Paul Getty Museum

The Angel Taking Leave of Tobit and His Family

Object Details


The Angel Taking Leave of Tobit and His Family


Jan Victors (Dutch, 1619 - after 1676)






Oil on canvas

Object Number:



104.1 × 131.8 cm (41 × 51 7/8 in.)

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Object Description

After curing Tobit's blindness, returning the family's wealth, and making it possible for Tobit's son Tobias to marry his beloved Sarah, the Archangel Raphael has dropped his disguise and revealed himself as an angel, saying, "I was not acting on my own will, but by the will of God." Such a scene of miraculous intervention was especially attractive to Protestants in Holland, who believed in doctrines of faith, mercy, and divine grace.

Jan Victors took his subject from the Book of Tobit, among the Apocrypha in the Old Testament. Borrowing elements from his teacher Rembrandt van Rijn's 1637 rendition of the subject, Victors set his figures before and within an architectural setting and opened the composition to a clouded landscape on one side. Strong contrasts of light and dark and a foreshortened angel, flying away on a diagonal and viewed from the back, give the scene animation and urgency. Victors's characteristically careful interpretation of surface details includes beautifully rendered highlights on the costumes and Tobias's head.

- 1774

Jan Lucas van der Dussen, 1724 - 1773 [sold, Van der Dussen sale, Hendriksz. et al., Amsterdam, October 31, 1774, lot 12, to Jan Yver.]

1774 -

Jan Yver, born 1747 (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

- 1952

Lesser Antique Shop (Buffalo, New York)
Source: Victor Spark stockbook, #2700

1952 - 1972

Victor D. Spark, American, 1898 - 1991 (New York, New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1972.
Source: Lender to Montreal/Toronto exhibition (1969).

Rembrandt and His Pupils (November 16 to December 30, 1956)
  • North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh), November 16 to December 30, 1956
Rembrandt and His Pupils (January 9 to April 27, 1969)
  • Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Montréal), January 9 to February 23, 1969
  • Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), March 14 to April 27, 1969
Rembrandt after Three Hundred Years: An Exhibition of Rembrandt and his Followers (October 25, 1969 to April 5, 1970)
  • The Art Institute of Chicago, October 25 to December 7, 1969
  • The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Minneapolis), December 22, 1969 to February 1, 1970
  • The Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit), February 24 to April 5, 1970
Baroque Masters from the J. Paul Getty Museum (February 26 to March 30, 1973)
  • California State University (Northridge), February 26 to March 30, 1973
The Bible through Dutch Eyes: From Genesis through the Apocrypha (April 9 to May 23, 1976)
  • Milwaukee Art Museum (Milwaukee), April 9 to May 23, 1976
Rembrandt in Amsterdam: Creativity and Competition in Amsterdam (May 14, 2021 to January 30, 2022)
  • National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), May 14 to September 6, 2021
  • Städel Museum (Frankfurt am Main), October 6, 2021 to January 30, 2022

Hendriksz., et al., Amsterdam. Catalogus van fraaye schilderyen, door Nederlandsche schilders [...]. October 31, 1774, p. 5, lot 12.

Valentiner, W. R. Rembrandt and His Pupils, exh. cat. (Raleigh: North Carolina Museum of Art, 1956), p. 123, no. 79, fig. 79.

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Zafran, Eric. "Jan Victors and the Bible." Israel Museum News 12 (1977), p. 114, fig. 24.

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Berry, J. Duncan. "Imagination into Image: On Visual Literacy." In Children of Mercury: The Education of Artists in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, exh. cat. (Providence: Bell Gallery, List Art Center, 1984), p. 79, fig. 59.

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