Saturday, August 1, 2009

Wherever you go, I will go…

Ruth and Naomi (1886) by the English Painter Philip Hermogenes Calderon (1833-1898).

Naomi wanted to go back to Bethlehem and Orpah is also on her way. Ruth instead is begging to stay with Naomi. The two women seemed like lovers, when Ruth is saying: "For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge…”


  1. The original version of this painting is by Frerick Goodhall and the one in the arms of Boaz is not Ruth but the servant Naomi in accordance with the bible story. The Goodhall painting is almost identical except that the waiting figure is not the servant but Noami herself and is depicted as white. This was done by Ruth to determine whether Boaz would fall in for cheap provocative tactics and to enable her to determine what sort of man he was. As quoted by writers, Boaz seems reluctant because he thought it was a Ruth he did not understand and was therefore a little disappointed. Calderon copied the Goodhall painting and did not realize it was the story of Ruth and Naomi which contents he did not know so he made the waiting figure the black slave which proves that he simply copied and adapted.

  2. Thanks for the informative comment. I got some images by Frederick Goodall (I think that's the one you refer to) but Ruth and Naomi I didn't know.

  3. I think I boobed with respect to the statement of the waiting figure by saying Naomi instead of Ruth. The figure posing as the servant is Ruth herself and biblically she is white. The servant was probably white also, but in the painting by Calderon the waiting figure is black and this proves that the original is by Goodhall who in any case signed or monogrammed his paintings. GFC is Goodhall and that is what is on the Goodhall painting, a copy of which I would be happy to send to you to post. I have meanwhile done more research and there is a definite link to Goodhall through the Ruth and Naomi theme which shows that he had been working on the subject. In any case he was a decorative painter and the painting has been executed with that in mind in terms of form, grouping and colour. The background and general details are identical to the Calderon which appears to be a little tighter in detail to be seen closely which is not necessary with Goodhall´s decorative work.