Moses Receiving the Tablets of the Law Artist: Raymond Lafage (French, 1656–1684)

ca. 1680

Prints and Drawings

The emotional intensity of Moses’s encounter with God is conveyed here by the seemingly explosive force emanating from God and the Tablets of the Law. The rays emanating from Moses’s head refer to the text of Exodus 34:29: “the skin of his face shone.” Below on the plain, the Israelites are seen dancing around a golden calf; when Moses descended and found them engaged in this idolatry, he smashed the tablets. Raymond Lafage’s oeuvre consists of several hundred drawings, most in the loose energetic style seen here, as well as thirty etchings. Lafage died at age twenty-eight, after a fall from a donkey. Over two hundred prints reproducing his drawings, published in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, attest to the enormous appeal of his work after his death.


Pen and brown ink over black chalk


sheet: 23.5 × 35.8 cm (9 1/4 × 14 1/8 in.)
framed: 43.82 × 59.06 cm (17 1/4 × 23 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Everett V. Meeks, B.A. 1901, Fund

Accession Number



17th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



A. Donnadieu (L. 98); Durlacher Bros., New York

  • John T. Rowe and Francis Russell, The McCrindle Gift: A Distinguished Collection of Drawings and Watercolors, eds. Margaret Morgan Grasselli and Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 2012), 68, fig. 1.
  • Suzanne Boorsch and John J. Marciari, Master Drawings from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2006), 12, 29, 173–74, no. 56, ill.

Object copyright
Additional information


La Fage, Raymond (1656-1690)

Technical metadata and APIs


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