Rebecca meeting Isaac; Julius Schnorr von CAROLSFELD; 1898; woodcut from “Bibel in Bildern”.



A couple: Isaac and Rebecca

Understand the scene


What an original meeting for two engaged people, the maiden Rebecca jumps off her camel when she makes out her fiancé! They are Rebecca and Isaac discovering each other.


Actually Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah, the son of the Promise, has left to his father the task of choosing his wife. Abraham sends to his tribe a servant who, under divine inspiration, selects Rebecca. They come back on their camels and it is this scene of their return and so, of the first meeting of the future married couple, that is represented.





Do not confuse with



Jacob and Rachel; Julius Schnorr von CAROLSFELD; c. 1885; woodcut from “Bibel in Bildern”.



Jacob and Rachel

Jacob meets Rachel keeping her flock. Unlike Isaac and Rebecca, no oriental aspect is to be found.


See Jacob and Rachel



The biblical narrative


The Book of Genesis, chapter 24 

Rebecca who is to marry Isaac arrives at the camp.

And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming. And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. For she had said to the servant : "Who is this man that walks in the field to meet us? " And the servant had said: "It is my master" ; therefore she took a vail, and covered herself.

And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her. (Genesis 24:63-67)



See similar pictures


Rebecca’s arrival is an opportunity for the evocation of the charms of the Orient and its nomads.



The Meeting of Isaac and Rebecca; Friedrich BOUTERWEK, 1841; oil on canvas, private collection

Art  Renewal Center



The Meeting of Rebecca and Isaac; Suzanne DE COURT; between 1600 and 1620; plate in ceramic; Musée du Louvre, Paris

In secula


Classical painting finding the camel not very noble, it was sometimes replaced by a horse. But the concern for local colour will make it reappear later on.



The Meeting of Isaac and Rebecca; Giovanni CASTIGLIONE; c. 1640; oil on canvas; the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

Web gallery of art



Rebecca meets Isaac by the Way; Jacques TISSOT, 1898; watercolour; Jewish Museum, New York





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