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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.

February 2016