Musees Nationaux, The Louvre

Rembrandt van Rijn

“Sarah, Abraham and Hagar” (17th century)

In these works the great master Rembrandt illustrates the two accounts in Genesis that precede Hagar’s banishment to the desert. In the vigorous drawing based on Genesis 16 (shown here, compare with etching illustrating Genesis 21), Hagar listens apprehensively, half hidden by a curtain, while the angry Sarai rebukes Abram: “The wrong done me is your fault. I myself put my maid in your bosom; now that she sees that she is pregnant, I am lowered in her esteem” (16:5).