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Past Exhibition

Sacrifice of Isaac

Rembrandt's ink drawing on paper depicting biblical scene of Abraham nearly sacrificing Isaac

Rembrandt van Rijn
Sacrifice of Isaac, ca. 1652–54
Pen and ink on paper
7 1/8 x 6 1/8 inches (18 x 15.5 cm)
Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Photo Herbert Boswank

In this sheet, Rembrandt emphasizes the violence of Isaac’s near sacrifice. Abraham bends over his son’s bound body and, as he brings the knife to his throat, covers the boy’s mouth to stop his cries. Senseless to the hand on his own head, the patriarch is not yet aware of the angel hovering above him.