Dutch, Golden Age

2022.001.001.jpg

Description

Bathsheba pleading before the old David to make Solomon his successor
Oil on canvas
60 x 50" FRAMED

This rarely depicted Old Testament scene shows the power and perseverance of women. When Bathsheba learned of a preemptive grasp for the throne, she convinces David to name their son Solomon as the future king of Israel, even though he was not the first in line. Known for her beauty, Bathsheba is usually depicted as an object of desire at her bath. The artist upends longstanding stereotypes by presenting the biblical heroine’s intelligence and strength in persuading the king to select the next ruler on the qualities of his character, rather than the traditional order of succession.

 

Previously considered Queen Esther before Ahasuerus, the painting was recently amended as Bathsheba due to the presence of the younger woman standing nearby. The figure represents Abishag, the king’s female servant who took care of him in his old age.

Date

Dutch Golden Age, 17th C.

Creator

Dutch, Golden Age

Source

Gift of William and Nyna Mahan

Identifier

2022.001.001

Collection

Citation

Dutch, Golden Age, “Dutch, Golden Age,” UCSB ADA Museum Omeka, accessed February 21, 2024, http://art-collections.museum.ucsb.edu/items/show/16812.