[There are 5 images in this set on “The Feast of Esther”] This is a creative commons image, which you may freely use by linking to this page. Please respect the photographer and his work. This art masterpiece is located at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh.
Dutch painter Jan Lievens (1607-1674) during his lifetime had achieved an international (continental) reputation for his art work. Today, he is not well known at all. Versatile in technique and genre, many of his works have been attributed to other painters. More is now known of the man, and credit is now being given where it should have been. The painting, “The Feast of Esther” at the North Carolina Museum of Art once was thought to be a work by Rembrandt; Lievens and Rembrandt knew each other in their home city of Leiden and may have shared a studio in common. Even in the 1630’s their styles were similar as were their subject matter, and contemporaries had difficulty in distinguishing one from the other. Lievens was well-known for portraits as well as religious scenes and landscapes.
“The Feast of Esther” dates from circa 1625; it is oil on canvas (51 1/2 x 64 1/2 inches [130.8 x 163.8 cm]), depicts a scene from the Book of Esther in the Old Testament. It is the confrontation of Ahasuerus (Xerxes) with his minister, Haman, who wished to see the extermination of the Jews. Esther has both her husband, Ahasuerus) and Haman to a banquet and exposes Haman’s plot. Lievens has conveyed much drama by Esther’s pointing finger, her husband’s anger in his clenched hands, the expression of surprise and shock on the face of Haman. The museum placard mentions aspects of Leivens’ craft—“scale, bold colors, dramatic energy”.
For additional works of art by Lievens:
Athenaeum (see under Art tab) with 68 art works
Web Gallery of Art with 15 art works
For more complete information:
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