Hendrick ter Brugghen - Jacob Reproaching Laban [1627]

The Old Testament Book of Genesis tells how Jacob had fallen in love with Rachel and agreed to work for her father for seven years as a shepherd to earn her hand in marriage. When the marriage took place, Laban substituted his elder daughter Leah for Rachel, for which Jacob reproached his father-in-law. Laban was unrepentant and Jacob had to work a further seven years to win Rachel, an admired example of constancy in love. 

Ter Brugghen was one of the main Dutch followers of the Italian artist Caravaggio. His family settled in Utrecht, probably in about 1591, where he was a pupil of Abraham Bloemaert. He travelled to Rome in about 1604, within the lifetime of Caravaggio, and remained there until 1614. By 1615 he had returned to Utrecht, where he died in 1629. Ter Brugghen was the first important painter influenced by Caravaggio to return to Holland. He developed a highly personal style characterised by a soft handling of paint and pale vibrant colouring.

[Oil on canvas, 97.5 x 114.3 cm]