17th C, Baroque, Biblical, Simon Floquet (Floeket, Flokeet, Flo(c)quet) (Antwerp?, c.1615 - Antwerp?, after 1635), David and Abigail, Oil on Copper, 54 x 70 cm, Framed
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The painting tells the Old Testament story of David and Abigail (1 Samuel 25:23).
David flees from King Saul and withdraws with his army to a mountainous region near the Dead Sea. In order to feed his army, he sends some of his men to the wealthy cattle rancher Nabal to ask him for some animals. Nabal refuses to respond to the soldiers' request and they return to David empty-handed. Displeased by this news, David considers sending a punitive expedition to Nabal. An employee of Nabal who has witnessed the incident, reports on it to Nabal’s wife, Abigail. She decides to comply with David's request for food and brings him provisions. David accepts her conciliatory gesture and will no longer take revenge on Nabal. Before Simon Flouquet painted the subject, it already had a long visual tradition. For example, a print after a design by Maarten de Vos (Antwerp, 1532 – Antwerp, 1603) shows a very similar composition. (See: https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/nl/zoeken/objecten?q=abigail&p=3&ps=12&st=Objects&ii=5#/RP-P-1988-312-112,29) The focus of the canvas lies with Abigail who kneels before the warlord David in full armor. The lances of David’s soldiers add rhythm to the composition. Flouquet’s painting is also very close to a work painted by his contemporary Frans Francken the Younger (see: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiga%C3%AFl_(Bijbel)#/media/Bestand:Frans_Francken _(II)_(1581-1642)_David_ontmoet_Abiga%C3%AFl_-_La_Boverie_Luik_23-08-2018.jpg). Who was influenced by whom?
Simon Floquet probably painted the canvas on behalf of the international art dealers Musson or Forchondt in Antwerp. During the 1660s and 1670s, Flouquet regularly received money from Guillermo Forchondt for painting compositions after Peter van Lint, Anthony Van Dyck and others.