Sir Godfrey Kneller

Elijah and the Angel

1672

On display at Tate Britain

Artist
Sir Godfrey Kneller 1646–1723
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1765 x 1486 mm
frame: 2174 x 1900 x 150 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1954
Reference
N06222

Display caption

Born in Germany, Kneller trained in Amsterdam and settled permanently in England in 1676 where he became the leading portrait painter of his day. This rare example of a narrative painting by Kneller is very Dutch in manner and subject. He valued it enough to bring it to Britain and display it at his house at Whitton, Middlesex. It depicts the Old Testament prophet Elijah who fled into the wilderness to escape the vengeance of Queen Jezebel. Hungry, he fell asleep and was woken by an angel who showed him bread and water sent by God to save him from starvation.

Gallery label, February 2016