Sir Edward Poynter
Moses Keeping Jethro’s Sheep 1863

Artwork details

Sir Edward Poynter 1836–1919
Moses Keeping Jethro’s Sheep
Date 1863
Medium Wood engraving on paper
Dimensions Image: 181 x 159 mm
Acquisition Presented by Gilbert Dalziel 1924
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

Poynter chose to illustrate the lives of Joseph and Moses for the Bible Gallery. This episode from Exodus shows Moses feeding the sheep of the priest Jethro on Mount Horeb. Poynter shows the moment when God appears to Moses from a thorn-bush, ordering him to go before Pharaoh and demand the release of the Israelites.

Poynter was a prolific illustrator and worked many of his designs for wood-engravings into large oil paintings. He wrote to Dalziel in 1896 ‘There is no part of my life of the practice of my part to which I look back with greater pleasure’.

July 2008

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