Salomon de Bray 1597 – 1664

The Queen of Sheba in Jerusalem

oil on panel (58 × 103 cm) — 1657 Museum Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem

Salomon de Bray biography

This work is linked to 1 Kings 10:10

Tags: Solomon

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At the entrance of the temple king Solomon receives the queen of Sheba. He is dressed in a red gown; she wears a blue robe. The queen had come to Jerusalem to investigate Solomon's proclaimed wisdom. Before she left she tells him that she is indeed very much impressed.

In the background priests are at work in the sanctuary of the temple. Against the walls are large menorahs, Jewish candelabra.

Most attention in the painting goes to the architecture of the huge temple. Salomon de Bray, an architect himself, shows a building in classical style, with lots of marble. The Bible only mentions cedar wood and gold, and bronze for the pillars.

On the pedestals of the pillars are inscriptions, that correspond to the names of the pillars as mentioned in 1 Kings 7. Left: Jachin (God establishes); right: Booz (in him is our strength).

The Frans Hals Museum acquired this panel in 2011. The full title is The Queen of Sheba before the Temple of King Solomon in Jerusalem.

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