Abraham and Sarah (Sarah Presenting Hagar to Abraham)

Georg Pencz (1500-50) engraving, c. 1540,  Abraham and Sarah (Sarah Presenting Hagar to Abraham). Reference: Bartsch 1, Landau 1, only state.  [titled Sarah/Abraham and initialed in the plate with the interweaving PG].  In good condition, slight time discoloration (graphite verso), with thread margins, 50 x 85 mm, 2 x 2 3/8 inches.

Provenance: unidentified collector’s stamp verso

A very good impression with strong details.

Pencz was one of the German Little Masters, the Northern Renaissance engravers known for their small scale engravings.

In this engraving, the first of five Pencz made of the story of Abraham, we see his wife Sarah, unable at that point to have children, introducing Abraham to her maid Hagar, an Egyptian, who Sarah suggested might bear Abraham a child (Genesis 16). This is obviously a moving moment – Abraham and Sarah look at each other, while Sarah has her arms on the shoulders of both of them.