Gathering of the Manna

about 1600
Antonio Tempesta (Italian, 1555–1630)


43 x 57 cm (16 15/16 x 22 7/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on alabaster

On View

Alyce Morrissey Gallery (Kunstkammer) (Gallery 143)





In the book of Exodus God reassured Moses that the starving Israelites, forced to wander 40 years in the desert, would be nourished by manna, a divine food that fell to the ground each day like dew. This painting brilliantly incorporates the veining of its stone support to convey the miraculous sustenance. The artist carefully grouped the figures to echo the alabaster’s patterning.


Martin Farqhuar Tupper (b. 1810– d. 1889), London. 1898, sold by J.D. Ichenhauser, London, to William Cornelius van Horne (b. 1843 – d. 1915), Montreal [see note 1]; until at least 1946, with the estate of William van Horne, Montreal. November 25, 1991, anonymous sale, Waddington’s, Toronto, lot 2030. 1994, sold by Stanley Moss and Co., Riverdale-on-Hudson, NY, to Joseph Koerner, London, and Cambridge, MA; 2012, gift of Joseph and Margaret Koerner to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 25, 2012)

[1] That this painting and its companion (MFA accession no. 2012.121) had belonged to Tupper and were purchased in 1898 from Ichenhauser is according to a label on the reverse of the painting. When they were auctioned in 1991 they were said in the catalogue to come from the estate of William van Horne. The majority of the van Horne collection remained intact and in Montreal until at least 1946.

Credit Line

Gift of the Margaret K. Koerner and Joseph Leo Koerner family