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Alessandro Salucci, Meeting of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba
Biblical - Historical - Mythologic
first quarter of the 17th century
Material and technique
oil on canvas
120 x 169 cm
Alessandro Zuccari
This is the companion painting to Esther Brought to the Palace of Ahasuerus and depicts another famous episode from the Old Testament. While Solomon was busy building the Temple in Jerusalem, the Queen of Sheba became so awed by the king’s fame and wisdom that she embarked on the long journey to pay him visit. The meeting between the two sovereigns takes place on the quayside of an imaginary port. The queen is accompanied by a large number of followers bearing rich gifts. On the right, Solomon comes towards her from a huge triumphal arch, an allusion to the Temple and the king’s palace.
The scene is a mirror image of the companion painting of the story of Esther. Here, in fact, the right of the canvas is filled with an imposing architectural perspective, a genre in which Salucci excelled. The buildings contain references to the architecture of the Classical era and to the late-sixteenth-century Roman palaces which the Florentine painter had admired during his long stay in the city of the popes. There is also an evident link with the classical landscapes depicted by Claude Lorrain around the middle of the seventeenth century, which Salucci saw in various collections in Rome.
Meeting of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba
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