The Queen of Sheba before King Solomon

The Queen came to Solomon to see if what she had heard of his wisdom and wealth was true (I Kings 10: 1-13). She is depicted with her followers kneeling before him on the steps, left of centre.

The main concern of the painter may have been the classical buildings which recall sources such as Serlio's architectural books, and are redolent of contemporary stage designs. The figures are sketched lightly on top of the architecture and have become transparent with age and wear.

Key facts

Artist dates
about 1515/20 - about 1570
Full title
The Queen of Sheba before King Solomon
Date made
about 1540-55
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
80 x 187.3 cm
Acquisition credit
Layard Bequest, 1916
Inventory number
Location in Gallery