Parable of the Good Samaritan

about 1622
Domenico Fetti (Italian (Roman), about 1589–1624)


67.3 x 83.5 cm (26 1/2 x 32 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on panel

Not On View





According to the Gospel of Saint Luke, Jesus explained his precept, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” with the parable of the Good Samaritan. Set upon by robbers and left for dead, a traveler was ignored by the first two men who passed by, but a Samaritan stopped to give him aid. Fetti, who studied in Rome but spent most of his brief career in Mantua and Venice, painted a series of illustrations of Christ’s parables.


By 1921, Baron Detlev von Hadeln (b. 1878 - d. 1935), Venice [see note 1]. By 1927, Gustav Rochlitz (b. 1889), Berlin [see note 2]. By 1931/1932, Dr. Frederick (Fritz) Haussmann, Berlin and New York [see note 3]; 1941, consigned by Dr. Haussmann to Schaeffer Galleries, New York (stock no. 635) [see note 4]; May 24, 1946, sold by Dr. Haussman to Schaeffer Galleries; November 14, 1946, sold by Schaeffer Galleries to the MFA for $1400. (Accession Date: November 14, 1946)

[1] See Rudolf Oldenbourg, "Domenico Fetti" (Rome, 1921), p. 14.
[2] Letter from Hans Schaeffer, Schaeffer Galleries, New York to W. G. Constable of the MFA (November 20, 1946; in MFA curatorial file). It is not known when Rochlitz -- an art dealer responsible for shipping looted works of art from Paris to German museums and to Hermann Goering in the 1930s -- obtained this painting; however, he lent the work to an exhibition held in Berlin in May and June of 1927, more than five years prior to the beginning of the Nazi era. See the exhibition catalogue, "Italienische Malerei des 17. Und 18. Jahrhunderts, Ausstellung Aus Berliner Besitz," May - June, 1927, Antiquitatenhaus Wertheim, Berlin, p. 17, no. 56.

[3] See Herman Voss, "Spätitalienische Gemälde in der Sammlung Dr. Fritz Haussmann in Berlin," Zeitschrift für Bildende Kunst 65 (1931/32): p. 162, illustrated.

[4] According to information on file at the Getty Research Institute, Schaeffer Galleries Records. The painting had been consigned to the gallery on October 31, 1941. It was included in the exhibitions "Gems of Baroque Painting," January 27 - February 28, 1942, Schaeffer Galleries, New York, no. 14 and "Baroque Painting Lent by The Schaeffer Galleries of New York," The Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, June 3 - June 30, 1942, no. 10.

Credit Line

Herbert James Pratt Fund