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Judah and Tamar

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Like his teacher Rembrandt, Bol often painted Biblical subjects with strong human drama. In this Old Testament scene, Bol relates the moment of amorous deception when Judah gives the pledge of a ring, staff, and bracelets to a veiled harlot, who is actually his daughter-in-law, Tamar. Tamar, the...

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Lower left: F. Bol. fecit / 1644


1894, Sir Walter Randolph Farquhar (b. 1842 - d. 1901), London; June 2, 1894, Farquhar sale, Christie's, London, lot 97 to Charles Sedelmeyer, Paris, for £73.10 [see note 1]; probably sold by Sedelmeyer to Peter Arrell Brown Widener (b. 1834 - d. 1915), Elkins Park, PA [see note 2]. Blakeslee Galleries, New York; by 1915, probably sold by Blakeslee to Mrs. Robert Dawson Evans (Maria Antoinette Hunt) (b. 1845 - d. 1917), Boston [see note 3]; 1917, bequest of Mrs. Robert Dawson Evans to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 1, 1917) NOTES: [1] Titled "The Marriage Contract." [2] According to a letter from Edith Standen of the Widener Collection to the MFA (January 3, 1939), Mr. Widener purchased the painting in the 1890s, and it left his collection before 1908. It was included in the catalogue of his collection published in 1900 (Catalogue of the Paintings forming the Private Collection of P. A. B. Widener, part II, no. 169). At least one other painting in the Widener collection was acquired from the Farquhar sale through Sedelmeyer. [3] Mrs. Evans bought a number of paintings from Blakeslee. She first lent this to the MFA in 1915, as "Ruth and Boaz."

Credit Line

Robert Dawson Evans Collection



123.2 x 172.4 cm (48 1/2 x 67 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas