The story of Abraham is an important one for the Israelis and Palestinians, one that led to the birth of a new religion, and created a conflict that is yet to resolve itself. In this story, one individual is often left out of the spotlight, and she is Hagar, wife of Abraham and mother of Ishmael. She is prominently featured in various religions and religious texts such as the Book of Genesis, the Quran, and Abrahamic religions, and is sometimes alluded to as the second wife of Abraham instead of as his handmaid.
Virtosu has decided to feature this prominent maternal figure in his work in order to pay tribute to a powerful woman who roamed the deserts with her young son in order to abide by Abraham and Sarah’s words. We see shades of the desert textures dispersed in the background of this painting, denoting the struggles endured by the mother while attempting to shade her only son from the harshness of nature. While the environment around her may be unforgiving, she stands resolute in this painting, serving as a source of strength and inspiration to a man who would go on to lead a nation of people. While there have been numerous works dedicated to Abraham and Ishmael, few artists have focused on Hagar and her valiant contribution to her religion.
Virtosu has decided to create this landmark piece in order to shed some light on Hagar’s life, and the care and precision with which the elements of this piece have been crafted prove just how much the artist cared about this particular topic.