Hendrik Goltzius, Lot and His Daughters, 1616. Oil on canvas, Rijksmuseum,Amsterdam.
Hendrik Goltzius (1558–1617) was a Dutch artist of the early baroque period. Baroque art is characterized by its ornate detail and exuberant composition. Goltzius’s right hand was severely deformed in a fire when he was just a baby. As a result, he relied on the muscles in his arm and shoulder more than his wrist, giving his artwork’s lines a unique sweeping quality. In this work, we see Lot and his daughters hiding out as the sinful city of Sodom burns in the background. The family is spared from the destruction, becoming the city’s only survivors. The daughters fear that all the men have perished and that they will be left childless, so they scheme to inebriate their father and seduce him. Notice, tucked in the shadows behind the tree, the fox that Goltzius includes to represent cleverness; the dog in the foreground symbolizes morality.