The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
The Migration of Jacob
  • Adriaen van de Velde (1636 - 1672)
  • The Migration of Jacob
  • Netherlands
  • 1663
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 133.5 x 180 cm
  • Signature: 'A [van] velde. f / 1663'
  • P80
  • East Galleries III
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Adriaen van de Velde was the younger brother of the marine painter Willem van de Velde the Younger. Unlike his brother, Adriaen specialised in figure paintings and often provided the figures for landscapes and seascapes by other artists. This painting tells the story from Genesis (XXXI, 17-18), in which Jacob leaves his father-in-law Laban, for whom he has worked for twenty-one years in Haran, Syria, and returns with his wives, possessions and cattle to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan. Jacob can be seen seated on a horse at the centre of the composition, gesturing towards his favourite wife, Rachel. She is shown suckling the infant Joseph and riding a white horse. This painting is one of Adriaen van de Velde’s most ambitious works and demonstrates his burgeoning ambition and stylistic innovation. It belonged in the 18th century to the Comtesse de Verrue and was bought by the 4th Marquess of Hertford at the sale of Cardinal Fesch in Rome in 1845.