Tobit Burying the Dead, c. 1650

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Few artists could conjure mood from an accumulation of lines as well as Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione. With this etching, he challenged himself to illuminate a nocturnal scene solely by torchlight. According to the apocryphal Book of Tobit, the pious Tobit continued to observe Jewish law, including the proper burial of the dead, even when being held captive in Nineveh. In true baroque fashion, Castiglione emphasized the dramatic reactions of the onlookers, notably that of the woman at right, who cannot resist another backward glance.

Tobit Burying the Dead
Artist Life
(Genoa), 1609-1664
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
B.xxi, 12,5 Percy E.20 Bellini 58
Curator Approved

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