Artibus et Historiae no. 36 (XVIII)1997, ISSN 0391-9064
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ROSS S. KILPATRICK - Hagar and the Angel in Giorgione's "Tempest"
'La Tempesta' remains a perennial riddle. Salvatore Settis catalogued twenty-nine past solutions, adding his own (Adam, Eve, Cain). This paper explores a biblical source in Genesis 16, Hagar's flight from Sarai. Giorgione would present a tableau of Hagar suckling Ishmael by a spring in the wilderness on the road to Shur, under the watchful protection of the messenger angel, costumed as a Renaissance soldier with lance. (Absence of angels' wings is common in Biblical texts and visual arts). The bolt of lightning becomes a sign of God's power (Revelation and Psalms) and his covenant with Hagar and her offspring.