Esther is a lovely book. It tells of the faithfulness of Mordecai and of the bravery of Esther. I also like it for the humor of the setting. It begins with King Ahasuerus throwing a big banquet over several days to impress rich and powerful men with his power and riches. His wife, Queen Vashti, gives a banquet at the same time for the important women of the kingdom. On the last day of the banquets, the King calls the Queen to show off her beauty to the men at his banquet. She refuses. Esther 1:10-12. The king consults the wise men of his kingdom concerning what he should do about her insubordination. Together they conclude that her refusal is a threat not only to the king’s authority but the authority of every married man in the kingdom. Esther 1:16-18. So, to maintain appropriate fear among the women in order for men to maintain control of their families, the king acts upon the advice of his wise men and banishes Queen Vashti. He regrets that soon afterward. But the men, perhaps with vicarious envy, suggest that he have a beauty contest in the kingdom, and that he marry the winner. That sounds to the king like a great idea. Esther 2:1-4. Ultimately Esther wins the beauty contest and becomes queen.
Ahasuerus Sends Vasthi Away CHAGALL (1960)
See http://www.greatatlantic.co.uk/chagall/7.html for the source of the above photograph of the lithograph.
Esther and Mordecai GELDER (1685)
See http://www.lib-art.com/artgallery/5005-esther-and-mordecai-aert-de-gelder.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting.
Esther BENOUVILLE (1844)
See http://www.terminartors.com/artworkprofile/Benouville_Francois-Leon-Esther for the source of the above photograph of the painting.
Esther is Introduced to Ahasuerus Rembrandt (c. 1665)
See http://www.artbible.info/art/large/91.html for the source of the above photograph of the pen and brush drawing. See, also, Esther 2:15-17.
Haman Prepares to Honour Mordecai REMBRANDT (ca. 1665)
See http://www.artbible.info/art/large/93.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting and a brief description. See, also, Esther, Chapter 6.
Mordecai is led through the city by Haman AZOR masters (ca. 1430)
See http://www.artbible.info/art/large/334.html for the source of the above photograph of the illumination. Esther 6:11.
Esther learns from Mordecai that Haman, an officer of the king, plans to kill all the Jews. Having seen what happened to Vashti when she displeased the king, it would make sense that she was frightened to appear before the king, without his request, to reveal the plan to kill her people. In fact, to this time, the king doesn’t know that she is a Jew. She devises a plan to invite both the king and Haman to a banquet where she will reveal the threat to herself and her people. Esther 7.
Esther and Ahasuerus GHERARDI (1643–1704)
See http://www.lib-art.com/artgallery/27788-esther-and-ahasuerus-gherardi-filippo.html for the above photograph of the painting.
Esther before Ahasuerus TINTORETTO (1547-48)
See http://www.lib-art.com/artgallery/17354-esther-before-ahasuerus-tintoretto.html for the source of the photograph of the painting.
Feast of Esther FRANCKEN, Frans II
See http://www.lib-art.com/artgallery/10267-feast-of-esther-frans-ii-francken.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting.
Punishment of Haman (detail) MICHELANGELO (1511)
See http://mystudios.com/artgallery/M/Michelangelo-Buonarroti/Punishment-of-Haman-(detail-1)-1511.html for the source of the above photograph of the detail of the fresco.
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