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Image of Elijah and Widow

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Elijah and Widow

ca. 1825
19th c
11 1/2 in. x 5 in. x 4 1/2 in. (29.21 cm x 12.7 cm x 11.43 cm)

John Walton, British, (active 1790–1840)
Staffordshire, England, English, b. mid 17th Century

Object Type: Ceramic
Creation Place: Europe, England, Staffordshire
Medium and Support: Earthenware with enamel decoration
Credit Line: Gift of the Estate of Dr. and Mrs. Leslie Dornfeld
Accession Number: 2005.107.a.b
a- Elijah- H: 11 1/2; W: 5; D: 4 1/2 inches
b- Widow- H: 11 1/4; W: 4 1/2; D: 4 3/4 inches

Elijah was a Hebrew prophet, who, according to the Bible, was kept alive in the desert by ravens commanded by God to bring him food. According to the Book of Kings, God also told Elijah to go to Zar'ephath where he would be cared for by a Widow. At first, the Widow was somewhat reluctant to share her small supply of food until Elijah told her that, if she provided for him, God would assure her that she would have plenty. She agreed to bake bread for Elijah from her supply of oil and grain and discovered that, every time she gave food to him, her supplies were restored. Thus, the story of Elijah and the Widow becomes a parable for kindness, charity and the sustaining qualities of faith.

In this work, ravens nest in a tree, the Widow carries a bundle of sticks on which to bake the bread, and a jar of oil is placed at her feet. These objects serve both to identify the subjects of the story and to symbolize the virtues of faith, kindness and charity.

2003 - 2004: "Clay Bodies: Staffordshire Figurative Ceramics from the Collection of Dr. & Mrs. Leslie Dornfeld," October 4, 2003 - April 4, 2004, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California

Object Description
Representational Earthenware Sculpture

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Additional Image frontal
Additional Image Widow

  • see Display Comments for complete dimensions Dimensions: 11 1/2 x 5 x 4 1/2 in. (29.21 x 12.7 x 11.43 cm)

Provenance History
  • Owner Name: Dr. and Mrs. Leslie Dornfeld
    Role: collectors
    Place: Los Angeles, California
    Dates: 2005

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