SPECIAL ADVISORY: The Yale University Art Gallery opens to the public with free, timed-entry tickets to its permanent-collection galleries beginning Friday, May 14, 2021. Plan Your Visit

American Paintings and Sculpture
Artist: Samuel King, American, 1749–1819
Subject: Rabbi Raphael Haijm Isaac Karigal, British, 1773–1777

Rabbi Raphael Haijm Isaac Karigal (1733–1777)

1782

Oil on canvas

30 × 25 in. (76.2 × 63.5 cm)
Gift of Ann Jenkins Prouty
2009.128.1

Ezra Stiles, a prominent Rhode Island minister and later the seventh president of Yale College, commissioned this portrait of Rabbi Raphael Haijm Isaac Karigal in 1781 as a tribute to their close friendship. Dressed to lead a service at the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, Rabbi Carigal is shown on the eve of Purim, March 8, 1773. Reverend Ezra Stiles attended this service, recalling that Carigal was “dressed in a red Garment with the usual Phylacteries and habilments, the white silk Surplice; he wore a high brown fur cap, had a long Beard.” One of the few ordained rabbis to visit colonial America, the learned and well-traveled Carigal spent six months in Newport. He and Stiles became close friends, sharing a rich interfaith dialogue that this portrait commemorates.

Geography: 
Probably made in Newport, Rhode Island, United States
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
American
Period: 
18th century
Classification: 
Paintings
Provenance: 

Ezra Stiles; following his death in 1795, to his daughter Emilia Stiles Leavitt; by descent in the Stiles family to the present owner, Mrs. Ann Prouty

Bibliography: 

“Acquisitions 2009,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2009): 138.

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 such records is ongoing.