Abraham sacrifices his son Isaac (Abraham’s Sacrifice) by Anton Losenko

Abraham sacrifices his son Isaac (Abrahams Sacrifice) by Anton Losenko

Enrolled as a pupil in the Academy of Arts, Losenko very soon became an assistant to academic teachers and was given the position of apprentice. Assessing the talent of the young painter, in 1760 he was sent to Paris to improve knowledge and skill

The result of studying in Paris with J. M. Vienne was the painting “The Sacrifice of Abraham”. The plot is borrowed from the Old Testament, which was often used by artists as an opportunity to show the clash of conflicting passions. According to legend, God offered Abraham to sacrifice the only son of Isaac, but, seeing his readiness, he prevented the

killing. The angel sent pointed to Abraham a lamb entangled in the bushes.

Losenko exactly follows what is said in the Bible: the composition of the painting is full of expression. The most expressive figure of Abraham, both dynamic and monumental. The picture received the first gold medal of the Paris Academy of Arts. In it, Losenko sought to avoid unnecessary decoration and demonstrated the basic principles of his pictorial credo: the transfer of “beauty of nature” and the construction of an emotionally rich composition.

Through Prince D. A. Golitsyn, the picture was sent to Petersburg and arrived at the Academy of Arts shortly before the public exhibition, where it was exhibited in 1766 as a pensioner’s reporting work. The exhibition at the Academy was demonstrated as one of the best achievements of the national school. In this work, the young artist appears to be an established master.

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