Ja­cob by Fran­cisco de Zur­barán

John Mcewen com­ments on

Country Life Every Week - - My Favourite Painting Jonathan Ruffer -

De­cem­ber 3, 2010). ‘I was a slow starter when it came to pic­tures, but the de­layed fuse is ca­pa­ble, nev­er­the­less, of a big bang. For me, the det­o­na­tion oc­curred as I searched for a way to help the North-east: the news that the Church Com­mis­sion­ers were sell­ing the cel­e­brated Zur­baráns at Auck­land Palace. It struck me as a swizz: had the pic­tures hung in, say, Sal­is­bury Cathe­dral, the out­cry would have si­lenced even the most ra­pa­cious as­set-strip­per. I wished to see them safe and ac­quired them for the re­gion. I par­tic­u­larly love be­cause the old dreamer, white-bearded and out of steam, was the fa­ther of 12 sons. New­mar­ket would have been proud of him

Ja­cob, about 1640, by Fran­cisco de Zur­barán (1598– 1664), 6¾ft by 3½ft, The Bishop’s Palace, Auck­land Cas­tle, Co Durham

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