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Esther, Ahasuerus, and Haman

Esther, Ahasuerus, and Haman

c. 1668

Jan Steen

(Dutch, 1626-1679)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 96.5 x 119.5 x 11 cm (38 x 47 1/16 x 4 5/16 in.); Unframed: 70 x 93 cm (27 9/16 x 36 5/8 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1964.153

Fun Fact

At the center of this biblical scene, Steen included elements of a typical Dutch still life: a Roemer glass, a half-peeled lemon, and a blue-and-white porcelain dish.

Description

Esther, the wife of the Persian king Ahasuerus, effectively concealed her Jewish identity until the prime minister Haman hatched a plot to annihilate the kingdom’s Jews. To save her people Esther persuades the king (at the center) to rescind his order. He then turns against Haman, who slumps in his seat, aware of his sudden fall from power and his bleak future.

See also
Type of artwork: 
Painting
Medium: 
Oil on canvas

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