Ruth and Boaz
circa 1820. Watercolor heightened with india ink, repaired tear lower left, small spots of gum arabic lower center, otherwise in good condition, the colors very fresh. Sheet size: 18½ x 25½ inches.
This fine Biblical scene is from the Book of Ruth, chapter 2, in which Boaz, owner of the fields being worked, tells Ruth that she is welcome to glean there (gather what has been left behind) and that she will be safe. Ruth kneels to the ground: "Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, 'Why have I found grace in they eyes that thou shouldst take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?" verse 3. Boaz answers, in effect, that it is because he knows she is an orphan and a stranger that he welcomes her.