The Queen of Sheba Offering Gifts to Solomon
attributed to Joachim Von Sandrart (1606-1688)
17th century, Oil on canvas
This work, attributed to the painter, engraver, and art critic Joachim von Sandrart (1606-1688), depicts the famous biblical tale according to which the Queen of the land of Sheba learned of the great wisdom of the King of Israel, Solomon, and set out for his land bringing various gifts: spices, gold, and precious stones. The painting easily combines the inevitable Baroque influence reminiscent of Pieter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) and the Venetian tradition, especially the skillful theatrical orchestrations of Paolo Veronese (1528-1588). Also, as usual, we find the openings onto the landscape, an excess of still lifes in the foreground, the raking light on soft shadows, and the strange effect in the unstable placement of the main figures typical of the artist, who we may identify as the onlooker with the feathered hat and black mantle placed between the Queen and Solomon.