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Elisha Refusing the Gifts of Naaman

  • Listed: January 1, 1970 12:00 am
  • Title: Elisha Refusing the Gifts of Naaman
  • Artist: Jacob Willemsz. de Wet
  • Origins:
  • Format (cm): 64.1 x 93.3 cm.
  • Format (in): 25¼ x 36¾ in.
  • Material:
  • Last Sale price: 20 000,00
  • Last Sale date:
Elisha Refusing the Gifts of Naaman


Jacob Willemsz. de Wet (Haarlem c. 1610-after 1675) Elisha Refusing the Gifts of Naaman oil on panel 25¼ x 36¾ in. (64.1 x 93.3 cm.)
W. Sumowski, Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schüler , Landau, 1983, VI, pp. 3749, 4110, no. 2847.
Possibly a student of Rembrandt, Jacob de Wet focused on history paintings with biblical and mythological subjects. In this picture, he depicted Elisha refusing the gifts of Naaman, an event described in the Old Testament. As recounted in 2 Kings 5: 20-27, the Aramean warrior Naaman suffered from leprosy and the prophet Elisha advised him to bathe seven times in the River Jordan. At the prompting of his servants, Naaman heeded this advice and miraculously recovered. In gratitude, he attempted to thank Elisha with gifts of cloth and precious metals, but the prophet refused. This is the moment De Wet chose to represent, as Naaman expectantly holds out a bolt of cloth and the servant at his side struggles with a heavy chest of treasures. This moment was a popular subject for 17th-century Dutch artists. Jan Pynas depicted the scene in a painting now in the Old Catholic Church, Leiden, while later in the century Simon Kick also took up the subject (Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, inv. 826). In both works Naaman is recognizable in his bulbous turban and the bearded Elisha raises his hands in modest refusal, elements seen as well in De Wet’s work. Sumowski suggests this is an early work by De Wet from the 1630s.

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