oil on panel
52,5 x 73,7 cm.
Anon. sale, Phillips, London, ca. 1995.
With Wieg, Amsterdam, 1995.
Acquired from the above by the parents of the present owner, thence by descent.
K. Wieg, 'Balthazar van Cortbemde. De Barmhartige Samaritaan weergevonden', in Kunstwerk.
Het kunstmagazine van Nederland, 7/5, November/December 1995, pp. 20-23, illustrated.
This is closely comparable to van Cortbemde’s painting which is known to have been acquired by an Antwerp Guild in 1647. Of much large format, it shows the same subject in a different composition, and is now in the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerpen (fig. 1). Another painting attributed to Van Cortbemde of the same subject but again of different composition was sold, Sotheby's, London, 18 October 1989, lot 177.
The parable of the Good Samaritan was told by Christ and is mentioned in the Gospel of Luke (10:25-37): a traveler is beaten, robbed, and left half dead along the road. First a priest and then a Levite come by, but both avoid the man. Finally, aSamaritan comes by. Samaritans and Jews generally despised eachother, but the Samaritan helps the injured man. Christ has been described as telling the parable in response to a question regarding the identity of the ‘neighbour’ which Leviticus 19:18says should be loved.