Object Image

Moses with Pharaoh's Crown

The subject is not definite but seems to be that of the infant Moses holding Pharaoh's crown just before trampling on it. This action symbolised his rejection of Pharaoh's rule over the exiled Israelites. The pale pastel colouring and fluid, sketchy, seemingly unfinished, technique are common features of Reni's late works. He may have intended to give some details, such as the young Moses' out-stretched foot, more finish, but this is by no means certain. The visible mid-brown coloured ground helps define the shadows and half tones. The painting was probably among those left in the artist's studio when he died.

Credit: Purchased 1979...

About 1640
Oil on canvas
132.2 x 172.7cm
NG 2375
Image and text © National Galleries of Scotland, 2024