The Illness and Cure of HezekiahArtist(s)Bertholet FlemalArtist NationalityFlemish (culture or style)Object Creation Date1651Medium & Supportoil on canvasDimensions
38 7/8 in. x 4 ft. 4 3/8 in. (98.74 x 133.03 cm)Credit LineMuseum PurchaseSubject matter
This narrative painting depicts a scene from the Old Testament (2 Kings 20:1-11) account of the illness and cure of Hezekiah, 13th King of Judah. After being told by the prophet Isaiah that he will die, Hezekiah prays to God. Isaiah receives word from God that the king will recover in 3 days and be granted 15 more years of life. As a sign that this will happen, God causes the shadow of the sun on the sundial to go backwards.
In this painting, a group of men are gathered around the bed where King Hezekiah lies ill. Three men are talking to each other, but the rest, including the king, are staring and gesturing toward a large sundial in the upper left corner of the scene. The prophet Isaiah, in a white cloak, stands at the top of the stairs, above the group.
Although the subject matter is a biblical story, the setting and clothing of the figures is Graeco-Roman. Physical Description
In the foreground, a group of several figures, dressed in graeco-roman clothing, surround a man lying in bed. The setting has classical architectural components such as columns and pediments and a large stone sundial in the upper left corner. The figures are painted in bright colors (blue, white, gold and red) but the rest of the composition is painted in muted colors (gray, brown, dark green). Most figures are gazing up at the sundial.Primary Object ClassificationPaintingCollection AreaWesternRights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image
for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.
architecture (object genre)