Raphael 1483 – 1520

Judgement of Solomon

fresco (120 × 105 cm) — 1509-1511 Museum Stanze e Loggia di Raffaello, Vatican City

Raphael biography

This work is linked to 1 Kings 3:25

Tags: Solomon

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Two women claim to be the mother of one child. When Solomon decides that the child is to be cut in half, one woman relinquishes her claims, thus disclosing her identity as the true mother.

To this day, a judgment of Solomon is synonymous with a wise decision in a difficult dispute.

Raphael painted this fresco in the same room of the Vatican palace where he made the famous School of Athens: the Stanza della Segnatura. While Raphael was painting his frescoes, Michelangelo was hard at work in the nearby Sistine Chapel. Both artists had been hired by pope Julius II, an important patron of the arts.

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