Arent de Gelder 1645 – 1727

Bathsheba makes an appeal to David

oil on canvas (86 × 100 cm) — c. 1685 - 1690
private collection

Arent de Gelder biography

This work is linked to 1 Kings 1:16

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King David is old and weak when Bathsheba visits him. Only the crown and the scepter on the table hint at his royal status. Bathsheba reminds him that he promised that her son Solomon would be king after him. This is a sensitive matter, as David's son Adonijah has already made himself king - without telling his father. David listens to her and orders that Solomon is to be anointed king over Israel.

The succession of David was a popular subject among Rembrandt's students. Govert Flinck made a painting showing the same tableau.

Arent de Gelder here shows he paid close attention to Rembrandt's teachings. His use of dark and light is very similar to his master's.

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