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Alcora Ceramic Factory

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Plaque depicting Jacob choosing Rachel to be his Bride

by Alcora Ceramic Factory, circa 1755

Faïence (tin-glazed earthenware)
Object (height x width): 94 × 47.6 cm (37 × 18 3/4 in)
Clad in complementary yellow and blue, a young man and woman coyly eye each other, their hands meeting at the very center of the scene. Lively, overflowing foliage serves as a dramatic and fitting backdrop to this courtship. At the base of the plaque, an inscription in Latin that identifies the pair translates as: Behold the very beautiful Rachel with her sheep, whom Jacob chooses as his wife. After painting by Jacopo Amigoni (Italian, 1682-1752). Despite the inscription, the scene also includes several details from the biblical account of Rebecca and Eliezer at the well. The jar balanced on the well, the flamingolike camels in the background, and the jewel-laden chest in the foreground are elements of this story. The plaque is based on a mid-seventeenth century image of Rebecca and Eliezer by Jacopo Amigoni, whose paintings and engravings often served as a model for the decoration of plaques and tapestries. It is likely that the painter of the plaque had a print of Amigoni's work in hand but transformed it into the more amorous Jacob and Rachel subject, probably for a specific patron.
J. Paul Getty Museum

18th century