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Seventh Plague of Egypt

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In the Bible, Moses calls down ten plagues before the pharaoh is persuaded to free the enslaved Israelites. This work, one of Martin's grandest paintings, depicts the seventh: "And Moses stretched forward his rod toward heaven, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire rained down onto the...

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Inscription

Lower left: J Martin 1823

Provenance

1825, sold by the artist to John George Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham (b. 1792 - d. 1840), Lambton Castle, Durham, England, for 500 gn. [see note 1]; by descent within the family to John Frederick, 5th Earl of Durham (b. 1884 - d. 1970), Lambton Castle; April 18, 1932, Earl of Durham sale, Anderson and Garland, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (sale held at Lambton Castle), lot 48, sold for £15. 1960, P. & D. Colnaghi, London; 1960, sold by Colnaghi to the MFA for £900. (Accession Date: October 13, 1960) NOTES: [1] The painting was included in the inaugural exhibition of the Society of British Artists, London, in 1824 (cat. no. 22), and was purchased by Lambton in 1825. See Thomas Balston, John Martin 1789-1854: His Life and Works (London, 1947), pp. 78-79 and Egyptomania: Egypt in Western Art, 1730-1930 (exh. cat. Paris, Ottawa and Vienna, 1994/1995), cat. no. 231, p. 372.

Credit Line

Francis Welch Fund

1823

Dimensions

144.1 x 214 cm (56 3/4 x 84 1/4 in.)

Accession Number

60.1157

Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Paintings