James Smetham

Naboth in his Vineyard

1856

Medium
Oil paint on wood
Dimensions
Support: 222 x 171 mm
frame: 346 x 301 x 48 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Bequeathed by W.C. Alexander 1917
Reference
N03203

Display caption

This picture illustrates the Old Testament story of Naboth – a parable of the sin of covetousness. Naboth owned a vineyard next to the palace of Ahab, King of Samaria. He is peering down on Naboth here. Ahab desired the vineyard but Naboth refused to give it up. So Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, had him stoned to death on a false charge of blasphemy. Ahab then seized the vineyard.Smetham, a Methodist, produced a number of religious works which were praised by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the critic John Ruskin. But he had little public success.

Gallery label, July 2007

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