The Mother of Moses
Date: 1860 (first exhibited 1860; undated)
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 24 × 19 7/8 in. (61 × 50.5 cm) frame: 36 5/8 × 32 × 2 1/4 in. (93 × 81.3 × 5.7 cm)
Credit Line: Bequest of Robert Louis Isaacson, 1999
Object Number: 1999-1
About: Solomon was an important if unusual figure in the Victorian period. Jewish by descent, he was born into a family of painters. He often painted Old Testament subjects such as this one, taken from the life of Moses. Unlike earlier depictions in which the heroic aspects of Moses’ life are depicted, Solomon has chosen a more intimate moment. Moses’ mother is shown caressing her child for the last time before she places him in the basket and sends him down the river to his destiny. Solomon, like many of his contemporaries, was concerned with the historical accuracy of his depictions. Many of the objects included in this painting were observed and closely studied by the artist in the collection of the British Museum. In addition, he has chosen models with convincingly Semitic features to strengthen the authenticity of the scene.
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