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ID number:  BIRBI-47.3
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Gelder, Arent de (1645-1727)
Title / Object name:  Ahasuerus and Haman
Object type:  Painting
Place made:  Dordrecht
Culture:  Dutch
Date made:  early 1680s
Materials:  Oil on canvas
Measurements:  138.5 x 116.8 cm unframed; 162.4 x 139.3 x 7.2cm framed
Provenance:  John Fraser, Essex before 1937; Fraser sale, Sotheby's, London, 29 April 1937 (lot 75), purchased by H. A. Buttery; Messrs. Leggatt Brothers sale, purchased by private collector; re-purchased by Messrs. Leggatt Brothers in 1947; purchased from Messrs. Leggatt Brothers in 1947 for £1,500.

King Ahasuerus (as known as Xerxes) listens to the evil promptings of his first minister Haman. According to the biblical story, Haman plotted a massacre of the Jews in the Persian empire. Here, he seeks to poison the king’s mind against them. De Gelder painted many scenes from the story which culminates with Esther, the king’s Jewish wife, revealing the plot against her people.

The artist was Rembrandt’s last pupil, studying in his studio from 1661-3. He adopted his master’s rich brushwork and a love of ornate oriental costumes suitable for biblical subjects.

Notes:  Exhibited: 'Images of a Golden Age. Dutch Seventeenth Century Paintings', Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Birmingham, UK, 07 October 1989 - 14 January 1990, no. 103; 'Arent de Gelder: Rembrandts laatste leerling', Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht, Netherlands, 10 October 1998 - 24 January 1999, no. 16.

1 Related People

Gelder, Arent de

1 Related Publications

Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schüler
Sumowski, W.

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