Each pair represents one of the nine ‘Fruit of the Spirit’ – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control – positive attributes outlined in a letter from Saint Paul in the New Testament.
The Museum’s ‘Fruit’ is Faithfulness and focussing on maternal faith the National Gallery’s The Finding of Moses by Orazio Gentileschi, dating from the early 1630s, has been paired with our Isabella, Duchess of Manchester, 1738, by Andrea Soldi.
In the story of Moses, his birth mother places him in a basket in the river to avoid certain death, demonstrating immense faith that her child will survive. Her faith is rewarded, and the Gentileschi painting depicts the moment of rescue and hope. This maternal faith is also reflected in our portrait of Isabella, Duchess of Manchester, who was instrumental in the formation of the Foundling Hospital. As with Moses, the birth mothers of children given up to the care of the hospital faced heart-breaking decisions that demanded enormous faith and trust.
As part of the collaboration visitors to the Foundling Museum will be able to see in person The Finding of Moses painting, attributed to Venetian artist Francesco Zugno, which will be on display next to Soldi’s Isabella, Duchess of Manchester on the first floor until 10 April 2023.