National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Rosenwald Collection

Rembrandt van Rijn

“Abraham Casting Out Hagar and Ishmael” (17th century)

The etching (shown here, compare with drawing based on Genesis 16) illustrates Genesis 21 in elaborate detail. The turbaned Abraham casts out his son Ishmael and Hagar, Ishmael’s mother. Ishmael wears a quiver that presages his later role when “he dwelt in the wilderness and became a bowman” (21:20). Completing the cast of characters from the biblical text, Rembrandt includes Sarah smirking next to the doorway and a small, self-satisfied, round-faced Isaac in the shadow of the doorway, far left.