Art UK has updated its cookies policy. By using this website you are agreeing to the use of cookies. To find out more read our updated Use of Cookies policy and our updated Privacy policy.

We are currently unable to display this image due to copyright restrictions

How you can use this image


Add or edit a note on this artwork that only you can see. You can find notes again by going to the ‘Notes’ section of your account.

The departure of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt is told in the Old Testament book of Exodus. God guided them at night with the light from a pillar of fire. West painted a dramatic night scene, with the light streaming down on tiny figures of Moses and the Israelites. By 1845, such an epic treatment of a biblical subject was old-fashioned and it is the last of the Bristol School's imaginary, Romantic landscapes. It would be twentieth-century film-makers who were to reinvent the epic dramatisation of history with casts of thousands.

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery





oil on canvas


H 111.7 x W 167.6 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased with the assistance of the Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund, 1974

Work type



You can help us tag artworks on Tagger. The tags above come from the public, and also from an image recognition project run by the Visual Geometry Group, University of Oxford.

Normally on display at

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Queens Road, Bristol, Bristol BS8 1RL England

This venue is open to the public. Not all artworks are on display. If you want to see a particular artwork, please contact the venue.
View venue