Rebecca at the Well

Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot (French, 1796-1875)
Oil on canvas 
19-3/4 x 29-1/4 in. (50.2 x 74.3 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
Not on View

In the book of Genesis, Abraham sends his servant Eliezer out to find a bride for his son Isaac. Eliezer comes upon Rebecca, a stranger, who draws water from a well for him and all his camels. Recognizing her kindness, he identifies her as a suitable bride for Isaac and gives her a ring as a token of gratitude. Nicolas Poussin, progenitor of the French classical tradition, famously painted the encounter of Rebecca and Eliezer in the seventeenth century (a picture today in the Louvre), and many artists followed suit. But in this succinct treatment of the story, Corot included only Rebecca, waiting with her jug beside the well, no ring in evidence. Seated on the ground, she looks up expectantly, as if just catching sight of Eliezer.


Chailloux, 1883.
Manzi, Paris.
[Alphonse Portier, Paris, 1890];
Paul Gallimard, Paris.
Jules Strauss (sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 3 May 1902, lot 12, ill., as Rébecca à la fontaine, for Ff 9,000, to);
Nicolas Auguste Hazard to;
Julie Pauline Hazard (d.1919; sale, Paris, Galerie Georges Petit,1-3 December 1919, lot 75, ill., as Rebecca, for Ff 35,000 to;);
[Bernheim-Jeune et Cie, Paris, stock no. 21.800, sold 7 March 1923 to;]
David David-Weill, Paris; by 1920 or 36-1958.
[Galerie Schmit, Paris by 1971; sold, as Rebecca, 24 April 1972 to] ;
The Norton Simon Foundation.

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