Domenico Gargiulo called Micco Spadero (1609/10-75), Rebecca and Eliezer at the Well
Italian art has always occupied a space between the expressive and the classical. This is most clearly apparent in Naples where Domenico Gargiulo (1588-1656) represents the classically tinged school with references back to Antiquity.
Characteristics of Gargiulo
The statuesque calm of the figures, the clear composition with special emphasis on the horizontal and vertical lines, and the measured colour scheme are all characteristicof Gargiulo. His clients seem to have favoured this particular motif; we know of five different versions.
The story behind the motif
Genesis tells us how Abraham sent his bondsman Eliezer to his own country to find a bride for his only son, Isaac. As the evening drew close, Eliezer waited at the well outside of Nahor and decided to propose to the woman who would give both him and his camels water. Then Rebecca came out of the town bearing a pitcher on her shoulder. He asked her for water, and when she had fulfilled his wish, she poured water for his camels. Then Eliezer knew that he was the right bride for Isaac, gave her jewellery, negotiated with her relatives and brought her back to be the bride of Isaac.