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Hendrick de Clerck

Moses Striking the Rock


Hendrick de Clerck
Brussels about 1570 – Brussels 1630


Moses Striking the Rock


About 1590


Oil on wood


86.4 x 86.4 cm


Purchase, Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest, inv. 1969.1624


Western Art

This painting depicts Moses striking the rock at Horeb with his rod to provide water for the Israelites (Exodus 17:5–6). The subject was frequently portrayed in de Clerck's work; in fact, the Museum owns another Moses Striking the Rock by the Flemish Mannerist master dating from about twenty years later that is exhibited nearby. The theme is apt for a dining room. The decorative nature of the picture, in which the subject matter seems less important than the presentation of a complex and figure-filled composition, is underscored by the abundance of serving vessels, the charming variety of the participants’ poses, the forest setting and a brilliant colourism.

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