The double incest of Lot, plied with wine by his daughters
LOT AND HIS DAUGHTERS
Jan Massys (1531-1575)
Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels
Subjects from the Old Testament, until this point essentially seen as foreshadowing the New Testament, experienced unprecedented popularity in the 16th century. The European Reformation encouraged direct reading of the Bible.
This painting shows the double-incest of Lot, intoxicated by his daughters, who seduce him in order to continue the human race after the destruction of Sodom and Gommorrah (see Bible text below). The incestuous act is represented by a lizard, an ‘impure’ animal. The younger daughter carries fruit in her bosom, evocative of desire.
Orazio Gentileschi, 1622-1623 - Staatliche Museen, Berlin, Germany
Simon Vouet, 1633 - Musée des Beaux-Arts, Strasbourg, France
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Wine clears the way to transgression: there are no limits
LOT AND HIS DAUGHTERS FLEE FROM SODOM
Paolo Veronese (1528-1588)
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria
The story of Lot, nephew of Abraham, is linked to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. An angel advises Lot and his family to flee the city without looking back. Lot’s wife disobeys and is turned into a pillar of salt. Lot and his two daughters seek shelter in a mountain cave.
'And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.' (Genesis 19:31-36).
In this way, Lot’s daughters continue the family line.
GALLERIES THE BLOOD OF THE GRAPES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT