The subject of this illustration is taken from Genesis 22:1-3. This passage recalls the episode in which God orders Abraham to take his son Isaac to Mount Moriah and sacrifice him. Here, Isaac is oblivious to his fate. 'Visualising the contrast between Issac's confidence in his father's love and Abraham's anguish [Solomon's design] shows the father delicately kissing his son's hand while caressing his head' (Simon Cooke, 'Dalziel's Bible Gallery' in 'The Private Library,' vol. 10:2, p. 77).
Solomon had used this episode as the subject of three previous compositions: a pen-and-ink drawing (c. 1855, The Jewish Museum, London), an oil painting (exhibited at the RA in 1858) and a watercolour (c. 1858). The drawing, though cruder with far less detail, depicts father and son in a similar manner.