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Gaspard Dughet (1615-75)

Seascape with Jonah and the Whale c. 1653-4

Oil on canvas | 97.8 x 136.1 cm (support, canvas/panel/stretcher external) | RCIN 405355

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A huge storm prevented Jonah’s escape from God’s commands. It could only be calmed by throwing the prophet overboard, where he was swallowed by a giant fish. Dughet revels in the spectacle of the storm, matching the marvel of the weather conditions with the dramatic narrative. We are left reeling like the figures in the foreground, aghast at the overwhelming force of nature.

Acquired by Frederick, Prince of Wales, in 1748