Giovanni Battista Tiepolo: The Three Angels Appearing to Abraham (1724-1729)


(Palazzo Patriarcale, Udine, Italy)

A fresco by the Italian artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770). The subject of the fresco is a scene from the Bible:

1 The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day.
2. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
3. He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by.
4. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree.
5. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”, “Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”

(Genesis 18:1-5)

In this story three angels visit Abraham who are on their way to Sodom and Gomorrah to pass Divine judgment upon these cities. Tiepolo only shows the beginning of the entire story with the angels set upon a cloud to symbolize their close proximity to God. Fresco from 1724-1729.

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