Museums and Art

“The Prophet Elisha”, Giorgio Vasari - description of the painting

“The Prophet Elisha”, Giorgio Vasari - description of the painting

The Prophet Elisha - Giorgio Vasari. 40x29

The representative of mannerism, Giorgio Vasari, is known to us as an invaluable source of knowledge about his more famous brothers. Meanwhile, the picturesque work of the Italian master deserves close attention.

The presented picture is dedicated to the prophet Elisha. He received the gift of prophecy from Elijah before the latter ascended into heaven. Elisha prophesied and worked miracles for over 65 years under the six kings of Israel. He divided the waters of the Jordan, made the Jericho spring suitable for drinking, prayer called for water in the desert for Israeli troops dying under the scorching sun, resurrected and saved from hunger.

It was the miracle of salvation from hunger that Vasari depicted on his canvas. A prophet on his knees holds a pot in which herbs are poured. With his prayer, Elisha will turn these herbs into edible in order to feed the starving.

The figure of the protagonist is purposely highlighted in red to emphasize the holiness and chosenness of the prophet, as well as to attract the viewer's eye. Cold tones were always considered the dominant palette of the master, however, he understood how to put the right accents in color to draw attention to the main thing in a multi-figure composition.

The painting was painted specifically for the church in Perugia, where it found its place in the chapel of Sacramento. Since 1773, the work moved to the famous Uffizi Gallery, where it can be seen today.