Photo credit: ANGUSalive
Lazarus was resurrected from his tomb so this is not likely to be the subject here. An episode described in the Gospels of Mark and Luke describes an incident in Capernaum in which Christ casts the devil out of a convulsing man before a crowd in the Synagogue. (Mark 1:21-28 - Luke 4:31-37) Perhaps this is the subject here? If this is the subject, given the work's size, it may have been commissioned for a particular location - such as the Bethlem Hospital in London.
Definitely, this is the subject! And, as you can see, a cloud of smoke comes out from the boy's mouth.Typical for this iconography. The painting looks like a copy, I'll research on that. Maybe part of a larger series on episodes of Christ healing.
The same composition, in the same direction, appears in the collection of engravings Taferelen der voornaamste geschiedenissen van het oude en nieuwe testament, commissioned by Pieter de Hondt and published by him in The Hague in 1728. The prints were made from drawings by Gerard Hoet, Arnold Houbraken and Bernard Picart. This one, showing Mark I.21-28, is pl. XXII in the New Testament series (there is more than one numbering sequence of plates) and has the credit line "Picart delin.": see attached. There's an impression of it in the Wellcome Collection (but not in its catalogue), and the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Insitute has digitised the entire work at https://digital.clarkart.edu/digital/collection/p16245coll5/id/83157
One of the purposes of prints was to provide models for painters to work from, especially when far from a metropolis: here the painter has enlarged the composition on a massive scale (from 50cm high to 209cm high), and of course determined the colouring. A good example of this type of painting: wonder where it was made? As Picart's plates were widely disseminated, it could well have been made in Scotland, where the painting is now.
Picart was an engraver, but in this case he only designed the image, as indicated by the delin. after his name (for delineavit, which means he was the draughtsman). It was engraved by someone else (whose name is at lower right, followed by sculp. for sculpsit). Thus, the painting is after an engraving after Picart.
Note that the title is written in six languages at the bottom of the print, obviously because the work was meant to circulate in several countries.
The engraver of the source print was Gilliam van der Gouwen:
The Rijksmuseum uses Gilliam, but Willem is also used for the engraver.
Does the collection know when this picture came into its possession?
Jacinto, I have asked the Collection this question in an email. David
The original suggestion that this is salvage from some sort of long-closed (or at least reformed!) mental institution/hospital is a good one, but perhaps more likely to have been one in Scotland or somewhere at least well north: it's 'altarpiece' size so might be from a chapel.
If from Scotland, it is likely that it came from a Catholic institution
The Cathoiic church there was putting together a basic record of its paintings for internal use in the 1980s