Job on the Dunghill

Gonzalo Carrasco, Job on the Dunghill, 1881. Oil on canvas,  Museo Nacional de Arte, Mexico City.

Gonzalo Carrasco (1859–1936) was a Mexican artist born to a traditional Catholic family in Otumba, a small city in the landlocked south-central state of Mexico. Carrasco had hoped to enter a Jesuit seminary to become a priest, but his talent for painting led him instead to seek a career as an artist after receiving a scholarship to study painting at the Mexican National School of Fine Arts. His preference for biblical themes led him to this composition depicting Job, which was awarded first prize at the Exhibition of the San Carlos Academy in 1881. Job’s naked body is rendered crippled with age, hands raised and eyes focused heavenward, releasing himself to the will of God. Carrasco uses intense theatrical light to highlight Job’s face and bring out the oasis-like landscape in the background. 

Gonzalo Carrasco, Job on the Dunghill. Oil on canvas, 1881. Museo Nacional de Arte, Mexico City.

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