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Sebastiano Ricci (Belluno 1659-Venice 1734)

Christ and the Woman of Samaria c.1724

Oil on canvas | 223.3 x 144.4 cm | RCIN 405740

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This painting is one of a set painted by Sebastiano for Smith’s residence on the Grand Canal. It shows the story from the Gospel of St John, when Christ sat down beside Jacob’s well outside the city of Sychar of Samaria and asked a Samaritan woman for a drink. Their conversation was about the water of everlasting life. The settings here, and in the painting at the centre of the opposite wall, have the gravity of the seventeenth-century paintings of Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin.