Santi di Tito
Sansepolcro (Arezzo), Italy, 1536-Florence, 1603
Rebecca and Eliezer at the Well, mid-1570s
Oil on canvas.
In a scene from Genesis, Abrahamís servant, Eliezer, meets Rebecca at a well and chooses her to be the bride of Abrahamís son Isaac. Santi has distilled their encounter to its narrative and compositional essence. The monumental scale, simple shapes, and foreshortening indicate that the painting was an altarpiece, probably in a large church. The first Florentine to react explicitly against the ambiguities and artifice of Mannerism, while upholding the rigorous drawing and superb execution that were the schoolís trademarks, Santi led a reform of its religious painting.