Jacob Jordaen's painting Moses Strikes Water from the Rock, showing Moses leading a group of people

Moses Striking Water from the Rock

Jacob Jordaens (1593)

H 180cm W 200cm
around 1618


Bathed in bright sunlight, people’s bodies are crowded close together. The tension is palpable: from infants to the old, the thirsty, this seething mass of people seems frozen in anticipation. Every fibre betrays the moment of holding one’s breath. Unlike in centuries before, Jordaens, one of the most important Flemish painters of his time, does not depict several moments of this story simultaneously: the Old Testament miracle of water issuing from the rock. Jordaens boldly concentrates, with Baroque vehemence, on the dramatic seconds before the miracle occurs.

Dates and facts