Florence – Palazzo Pitti (Jacob and Rachel at the Well by Lorenzo Lippi)

This painting is by Lorenzo Lippi (1606-1665) and shows Jacob and Rachel at the well, the parents of Joseph and Benjamin, two of the representatives in the Twelve Tribes of Israel. It was painted during the period between 1640 and 1645 and the artwork was acquired by the Italian Government in 1910 from the Galli-Tassi family in Florence.

But, onto the story of Jacob and Rachel, which is told in Genesis and is just a bit overly fluffy for my liking, something that Barbara Cartland might have written in terms of the storyline. The upshot is that in the ancient city of Haran, there was a woman called Rachel and numerous sheep, which Jacob came to meet. The sheep were thirsty, but there was a stone across the well which required several men to move. But, Jacob wanted Rachel’s sheep to have water immediately, so he impressed her by using his great energy to move the stone on his own and then they became a couple. That’s the short version of the story anyway, hence why there are some slightly strange looking sheep in the painting.