Esther before Ahasuerus
Pompeo Girolamo Batoni, Italian, 1708 - 1787
Made in Rome, Italy, Europe Date:
Oil on canvasDimensions:
29 1/8 x 39 1/16 inches (74 x 99.2 cm)Curatorial Department:
European Painting before 1900, Johnson CollectionObject Location:
* Gallery 283, European Art 1500-1850, second floorAccession Number:
Purchased with funds contributed by the Women's Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in honor of their 100th anniversary, 1982
The biblical Book of Esther tells the story of a beautiful Jewish woman who intervenes with her husband, Ahasuerus, king of the Medes and Persians, to save the Jewish people from destruction. Esther defies a royal order that made it a capital offense to enter the throne room unsummoned and confronts her husband. First stunned, and then overwhelmed by her beauty and heroism, the king forgives her by lowering his scepter.
With Gilberto Zabert, Turin, by 1977, and still in 1979 . With a dealer in Geneva, Switzerland; with Pepper Fine Arts, New York ; with French and Co., New York, 1981; gift of the Women's Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in honor of their 100th anniversary, 1982.
1. Exhibited at the Zabert gallery, "Dipinti dal XV al XIX secolo per collezionisti e intenditori," November 22-December 22, 1977, no. 32, and "Dipinti dal XIV al XVIII secolo per collezionisti e intenditori," 1979, no. 32.
2. According to a letter from Stephen Pepper of December 16, 1982 (curatorial file), Pepper Fine Arts acquired the painting from a dealer in Geneva and subsequently sold it to French & Co.
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