Comparable to themes in mythology, Old Testament figures and heroines in particular, were popular subjects of artworks in the mid-19th century. Several scenes from the Biblical (Gen. 24) story of Rebecca's meeting with Eliezer, and subsequent marriage to Isaac, were depicted in the 19th century. The most frequent representation shows Rebecca at the well with a pitcher. Other examples of the subject include those by the Italians Cesare Lapini, Giovanni Battista Lombardi and Domenico Menconi and American sculptors Brown, Mozier, and Chauncey Bradley Ives. Ives's example, modelled in Rome in 1854, in fact became his most commercially successful work.
For a note on Ruth as a subject in sculpture, see lot 241.
A set of four maidens emblematic of the Seasons, by Aristide Fontana, sold in these rooms, 24 April 2001, lot 311 ($270,000).