“Hagar and Ishmael in the Wilderness” (17th century)
No suggestion of barren and parched Negev wilderness appears in this voluptuous Italian Baroque landscape. Hagar joins actively, jar in hand, in the search for water directed by the gowned angel, while Ishmael languishes beneath the trees. Cozza’s desire to use color and swirling forms dominated his interpretation of Genesis 21:17–19. Torment, resignation and pleading—emotions depicted by many other artists and expressed in the biblical text—are not to be found in Cozza’s painting.