Apparently, the figure of Job should be the embodiment of grief and bereavement. However, in artworks created in Venice during the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries – Pietro Lombardo's relief Job and St. Francis, in St. Giobbe Church in Venice, Giovanni Bellini's San Giobbe Altarpiece and Sacred Allegory, and Carpaccio's paintings Meditation on the Passion and Job with Dead Christ – this aspect of Job's life-story is not obvious, and its deciphering requires iconographic research. Moreover, this facet did not receive the expected scholarly attention while analyzing these artworks, though other aspects of Job, as a prophet, as a plague saint or as a patron of the poor, had been discussed in literature. Supported by a time-honored tradition of Biblical hermeneutics that interprets Biblical figures and verses as having multiple meanings, and without excluding the other possible readings, the current paper will attempt to add yet another meaning to those known concerning the figure of Job, suggesting a new, additional, reading of the figure of Job in these artworks, as a bereaved father. This reading, focusing in Carpaccio's and Lombardo's works, is using as its departure point the postures of Job in these artworks, in one case familiar and expected, and on the other one quite surprising. It will be supported by further motifs, and will connect this meaning with the historical background of the plague and to the grief of the Venetians who suffered the consequences of the plague during the period they were created.
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