Arent de Gelder 1645 – 1727

Esther and Mordecai

oil on canvas (93 × 148 cm) — 1685 Museum Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

Arent de Gelder biography

This work is linked to Esther 4:13

Tags: Esther

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Wise old Mordecai shows his cousin Esther the decree that the king's minister Haman intends to use to kill all the Jews in Persia. Esther is married to the king, so Mordecai tries to persuade her to use her influence to make the king change his mind.

Esther knows of the rule that forbids anyone to approach the king without invitation - the penalty for breaking the rule is death. She hasn't been invited to the king for 30 days, so she hesitates to do what Mordecai asks her.

Many features of this painting show that De Gelder was a student of Rembrandt's. The use of dark and light, the colours, and the rich detail in Esther's dress, to name the most important ones.

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