The present unpublished work, which reflects the influence of Jusepe de Ribera, is a larger treatment of the painting in the Palazzo de la Granja, San Ildefonso, Spain (O. Ferrari and G. Scavizzi, Luca Giordano, 1992, I, p. 341, no. A575; II, p. 769, no. 719). It illustrates one of the episodes from the Lives of Abraham and Isaac executed for King Carlos II in the Monastery of San Juan al Retiro circa 1696, during the final years of Giordano's stay in Spain. A preparatory drawing signed 'JORDANUS' which relates more closely to the present work than the San Ildefonso version, is in the Prado, Madrid, Inv. no. F.A. 677 (ibid., II, p. 770, no. D155, fig. 722).
The subject is taken from Genesis 25:19-34; 27; 28: 1-5 in which Jacob, the twin brother of Esau, obtained his brother's birthright by guile. He contrived, at his mother Rebecca's instigation, to deprive Esau of his father's blessing. Isaac, then old and nearly blind, sent Esau out to hunt a deer and cook it for him 'that I may give you my blessing before I die'. Overhearing this, Rebecca told Jacob to take Esau's place and obtain the blessing for himself. She dressed him in Esau's clothes, covering his hands and neck with goatskins, for 'Esau was a hairy man'. Isaac was fooled and blessed Jacob in Esau's stead.
Accompanied by a photocopy of a certificate from Professor Oreste Ferrari dated Rome, 2 March 1998 as Luca Giordano, 'una importante opera autografa'.