Lucas van Leyden 1494 – 1533

Jezebel and king Ahab

woodcarving (24 × 17 cm) — c. 1517 Museum Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Lucas van Leyden biography

This work is linked to 1 Kings 21:5

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Tags: Kings

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King Ahab of Samaria wants to add a garden of herbs to his palace. He asks his neighbour Naboth for his land, that lies next to the palace. But Naboth refuses to hand over the land of his ancestors: not for money, and not for land. That episode can be seen through the window.

Ahab returns home to lie in his bed, heavily disappointed. His wife Jezebel notices that he doesn't eat his bread and asks him what's wrong. That scene is shown in the foreground.

Jezebel is angry that Naboth denies a request by his king, and sets a trap for him. She falsely accuses him of cursing God and the king. In the top left Lucas van Leyden shows what happened next: Naboth is stoned to death.

The print is part of a series called Women's Tricks. Among the other women in the series are Eve, Lot's daughters, and Delilah.

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