|Ocotober 30, 2002
In the Bible
Bernardo Strozzi, better known by the names of Cappucino Genovese and
il Prete Genovese, which he received in consequence of his belonging to the order
of Capuchins, was born at Genoa in the year 1581. He was the pupil of the Sienese
master Sorri... The picture of Esther interceding with Ahasuerus ( Xerxes in the
Bible ) for her people presents a favourable specimen of the powers of this master.
The King granted the request of his fair petitioner before it was made, the moment
chosen by the artist seems to be that immediately previous to her entering on the
subject as she appears to be gazing on the venerable countenance of the aged Monarch,
with an air of anxious uncertainty.
Also see The
Banquet of Esther and Ahasuerus by Jan Victors (1640s), who painted mostly
Old Testament scenes. He apparently made them primarily for Calvinist patrons. His
large pictures of Old Testament subjects are distinctly related to Rembrandt's biblical
pictures done after the mid-thirties; his paintings of tradesmen and rural genre
scenes are more personal. In this scene the Jewish heroine Esther, wife of the Persian
King Ahasuerus, notifies her husband of the plans of his advisor Haman, here seen
at left, who has schemed to massacre the Jews in the Persian empire.
Suggested by Darius Kadivar
winner: Houman Younessi
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