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Ahasuerus, Haman and Esther

Rembrandt1660

The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow

The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow

The painting "Ahasuerus, Haman and Esther" (1660) was painted at the beginning of the last decade in Rembrandt's life. It is based on the Old Testament story. During a banquet the wife of the Persian King Ahasuerus, the Jewess Esther accuses the king's favorite Haman of plotting to destroy her people. The dramatic conflict between the three persons is expressed through their restrained but eloquent gestures. The scene has a tense atmosphere of suspense. The figure of Esther is radiant, her robe with a long train is gleaming as if with precious stones. Haman is immersed in the shadows. Rembrandt achieves great depth in rendering the inner life, the spiritual energy of his character.

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