Solomon and the Queen of Sheba

Francesco Fontebasso1736 circa

Museo Diocesano Tridentino

Museo Diocesano Tridentino
Trento, Italy

The painting depicts an episode taken from the Old Testament: the Queen of Sheba, having heard about King Solomon’s wisdom and knowledge, travelled with camels laden with gold, spices and precious stones, to meet him in person. Once in Jerusalem, she decided to put his wisdom to the test by asking him questions made up of riddles and enigmas. The king answered each one appropriately. The Queen was impressed by his wisdom and his excellent governance, admired the splendour of his palace, the excellence of his food, the elegance of the service and the quantity of victims that were sacrificed to the Lord in the temple. She then praised the God of Israel who had placed such a wise and just king to lead his people. The Queen gave Solomon one hundred and twenty gold coins and a large amount of spices and precious gems. Solomon reciprocated with even greater generosity.


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