Dewing’s painting responds to a biblical story from the book of Tobit. After the elderly Tobit was blinded by sparrow dung, his son, Tobias—accompanied by a dog and the angel Raphael, disguised as a young man—traveled to Media to collect a debt for his father’s support. While bathing in the river Tigris, Tobias was startled by a fish. Raphael instructed him to seize the fish and save the heart, liver, and gall. Later, Tobias used the organs to drive an evil spirit away from Sara, his future wife, and restore his father’s sight. Dewing minimizes the narrative and focuses only on the progress of Tobias and the angel across a meadow. source
Thomas Wilmer Dewing was an American painter working at the turn of the 20th century. He studied paintings in the collection of the Louvre and was part of an artists' colony at Cornish, New Hampshire. He is known for his Tonalist style of painting, which is characterized by an overall tone of color spread over the entire surface.