Burial of the First Born
by Erastus Salisbury Field (1805–1900), based on the account of the plagues visited upon the Egyptians in Exodus 12:23–30
. Field, a Massachusetts artist who painted this picture in 1880, takes the Exodus account of the tenth plague, the death of the first born, to a highly imaginative, but logical, conclusion. A river of Egyptians bearing white-draped coffins on their shoulders flows down a vastly long street bordered by exotic, monumental architecture and sculpture.
Tutored for only three months at the age of 19, Field painted for at least 75 of his 95 years. He has become an archetype of the 19th-century American folk artist.