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Bramer, Leonard
The Queen of Sheba’s Visit to King Solomon The Queen of Sheba’s Visit to King Solomon
Early 1640s Early 1640s

At the start of King Solomon’s reign, God appears to him in a dream and bids him to choose a boon. Rather than power or riches, the monarch opts for wisdom. Pleased with this answer, God grants the wish (1 Kings 3:5-10). Solomon’s sagacity aids him greatly in ruling Israel, and soon his fame spreads far and wide, prompting a personal visit from the Queen of Sheba. After testing Solomon with a series of difficult questions, which he answers successfully, the Queen praises him and presents him with all sorts of treasures (10:1-12). This is the episode depicted here. Both the monumentality of the scene and the Queen of Sheba’s obeisance are underscored by the imposing motif of the staircase that leads up to Solomon’s throne. Although expressively and freely handled in parts, the work reflects great care in the compositional arrangement and posing of the figures. The diagonals formed by the figure of the attendant standing at the lower right are mirrored in the forward-leaning pose of the Queen of Sheba. The space is strongly articulated in a series of planes receding from the figure in the foreground, to the staircase, to the building in the rear with pilasters and an arched opening.

 
Bramer, Leonard
Delft, Netherlands 1596–Delft, Netherlands 1674 Delft, Netherlands 1596–Delft, Netherlands 1674
The Queen of Sheba’s Visit to King Solomon The Queen of Sheba’s Visit to King Solomon
Early 1640s Early 1640s
Oil on panel Oil on panel
overall: 72.4 cm x 55.9 cm
Gift of Alfred and Isabel Bader, 2008 Gift of Alfred and Isabel Bader, 2008
51-004.02

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