Scenes from the Book of Esther

Artist/maker unknown, German, active southern Germany

Made in southern Germany, Germany, Europe

c. 1545-1560

Oil on panel

19 1/16 x 26 1/2 inches (48.4 x 67.3 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Gallery 254, European Art 1500-1850, second floor (Rubenstein Gallery)

Accession Number:
Cat. 734

Credit Line:
John G. Johnson Collection, 1917

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16th century [x]   bible [x]   esther [x]   germany [x]   jewish [x]   jews [x]   old testament [x]   persia [x]   religion [x]  

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In this work, figures wearing mid-sixteenth century German courtly costume enact several episodes from the Old Testament story of Esther within a stagelike setting of Renaissance architecture. As queen of Persia, Esther persuaded King Ahasuerus to thwart Haman's plot to destroy the Jewish people. Renaissance patrons of art appreciated Old Testament heroines as exemplars of virtue.

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