The Meeting of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba

Juan de la Corte1630 - 1660

Fundación Banco Santander

Fundación Banco Santander

For the last twenty years the series of six biblical scenes to which this canvas belongs has been attributed to the circle of Juan de la Corte (grandfather of Gabriel, the celebrated flower painter). Documented as a painter active in Madrid in 1613, a series of works dated between 1623 and 1642 are known by his hand. De la Corte failed to become Court Painter in 1627 as this place was not filled, while in 1638 he paid the highest amount of any Madrid painter to the tax authorities for his sold works. Numerous signed and unsigned works of varying quality produced by De la Corte’s studio are known. There are surviving series on the Trojan War and the Victories of Charles V while documentary evidence indicates the presence of around 40 works in the Buen Retiro Palace and the Alcázar in Madrid on biblical, mythological and historical subjects and landscapes.

The presence of celebrated Old Testament figures in this series culminates with the famous episode of Solomon (I Kings 10). Exceptionally in this series, and in response to the demands of the narrative, the setting is an interior one. The palace is based, albeit with some variants, on a print by Hans Vredeman de Vries, with some errors in the perspective of the lateral doors and with the spatial recession exaggerated in order to create space for the numerous small figures. This scene is a pacific one and almost no soldiers are to be seen, in contrast to the others in the series. The artist uses alternating zones of light and shade, housing the figures in the latter, hence the dark tones of their clothes.

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  • Title: The Meeting of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba
  • Date Created: 1630 - 1660
  • Style: Baroque
  • Place Part Of: Spain
  • Physical Dimensions: w1100 x h660 mm (Complete)
  • Painter: Circle of Juan de la Corte
  • Exhibition: Madrid, Spain
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Fundación Banco Santander, www.fundacionbancosantander.com
  • External Link: Fundación Banco Santander
  • Medium: Oil on canvas