Frederic, Lord Leighton

The Spies Escape

published 1881

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Frederic, Lord Leighton 1830–1896
Wood engraving on paper
Image: 168 × 181 mm
Presented by Gilbert Dalziel 1924

Display caption

Here Leighton illustrates the story from the Book of Numbers which describes the plight of the Israelites as they approach Canaan, the land promised them by God. He shows two spies who have been sent by God to search out Canaan; they are about to flee the walled city that they find inhabited by man-eating giants.

Leighton was enthusiastic about being involved in the project to produce an illustrated Bible. He made nine designs for the volume which the Dalziels described as ‘among the finest of his works in black and white’.

Gallery label, November 2004

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