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Saul and the Witch of Endor

Saul and the Witch of Endor
Artist
William Sidney Mount, born Setauket, NY 1807-died Setauket, NY 1868
Date
1828
Type
Painting
Medium
oil on canvas
Dimensions
36 x 48 in. (91.3 x 122.0 cm)
Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of International Business Machines Corporation
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
1966.48.1
Luce Center Label
William Sidney Mount created only a few paintings based on historical and literary scenes. This piece illustrates a passage from the Old Testament, in which Saul sought help from an oracle before going to war with the Philistines. The witch summoned the spirit of the prophet Samuel so that Saul could ask him for advice. In this painting, Saul and his men cower in horror as the ghost comes forward to speak to them (1 Samuel 28). This episode was familiar to nineteenth-century audiences who had been raised on scripture.
Data Source
Smithsonian American Art Museum
See more items in
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department
Painting and Sculpture
On View
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 7B
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor
Usage