Title: Lot and his Daughters
Artist: Antonio Bellucci
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Copyright: Public Domain
This is an autograph painting by Antonio Bellucci dated circa 1680; the subject, Lot and his daughters, is the famous one taken from a passage of the Book of Genesis. Lot escaped with his two daughters from destruction of Sodom took shelter in a cave. The daughters were convinced that they were the only survivors in the world to perpetuate the human race, so they planned to get their father drunk and had intercourse with him on two consecutive nights: “Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.” (Genesis 19:32)
As a result, a child was born to each of them. The oldest daughter conceived Moab, father of the Moabites. The youngest one conceived Ben – Ammi (Hebrew, lit. “Son of my people”) father of the Ammonites. This subject was widely interpreted by the painting of the seventeenth century because it provided the pretext for the representation of the woman’s femininity and, sometimes, the female nude. The vibrant colors together with the dramatic contrast between the heightened senses of the daughters and the inebriated state of their old father are elements both dear to the Baroque culture.