Oil on canvas, 40cm by 61cm, in a carved giltwood frame.
The book of Exodus in the Hebrew bible tells of the Egyptian Pharaoh’s proclamation that all male Jewish babies are to be thrown into the river Nile.
The painting depicts the moment when Pharaoh’s daughter discovers the baby Moses in a basket amongst bullrushes on the river’s edge, where his mother has hidden him to save his life.
The painting was acquired from the Palazzo Bocca Paduli in Rome, almost certainly by John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700), whilst on the Grand Tour.
The 1738 Burghley Inventory records: ‘The Anti-chapel room….Moses in the Bulrushes.’