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Hagar and Ishmael

A work made of marble.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of marble.

Date:

1856

Artist:

Edward Sheffield Bartholomew
American, 1822–1858

About this artwork

During his brief career, Edward Sheffield Bartholomew was recognized by both critics and patrons for his sensitive marble renderings of biblical and mythological scenes. Taken from the book of Genesis, the story of the Egyptian handmaiden Hagar and her son, Ishmael, is one of deception and family betrayal. After giving birth to Ishmael, the illegitimate son of Abram (later Abraham), Hagar and her son are banished from the house of Abraham. Expelled to the desert, they are rescued from certain death by God, who provides a well to quench their thirst. Bartholomew’s relief shows the moment when Hagar pleads to the heavens to rescue her son. In the 19th century the story of Hagar was understood as an allegory of slavery that illustrated the indignities suffered by black women as well as the disenfranchisement of all African Americans.

On View

Arts of the Americas, Gallery 174

Artist

Edward Sheffield Bartholomew (Sculptor)

Title

Hagar and Ishmael

Origin

Rome

Date

1856

Medium

Marble

Inscriptions

Inscribed, lower right: "BARTHOLOMEW ROME 1856"

Dimensions

71.1 × 49.9 cm (28 × 19 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

The Roger McCormick and J. Peter McCormick funds

Reference Number

1995.38

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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