OIL PAINTING: Rebecca and Eleazer, 1710
Francesco Solimena was greatly admired by the Venetian painters of the eighteenth century, especially by Piazzetta and the young Giambattista Tiepolo, for his vigorous naturalism, marked by bold chiaroscuro contrasts and by rich, intense colours, which were the result of the influence on the Neapolitan artist by Mattia Preti.
Amongst the very finest examples of this period of Solimena's career is the oil painting Rebecca and Eleazar, painted around 1710, together with Jacob and Rachel, for the Baglioni family of Rio Marin, Venice. A light which seems to be like a sudden flash of lightning makes the figures stand out with plastic presence. The compositional arrangement of Solimena's painting is a triangle, already typically eighteenth century in the elegant balancing of the links between the figures.