All About Ahasuerus (Xerxes), Haman and Esther by Rembrandt

Artwork by Rembrandt

Year Created 1660

Summary of Ahasuerus (Xerxes), Haman and Esther

The artwork Ahasveros and Haman at the Feast of Esther is one of the rare works by Rembrandt van Rijn whose provenance is established. In 1662, the painting’s genesis was discovered, just two years after it was completed.

Book of Esther chapters 5-7 is used as the focus of this essay. Proposals to hang Mordechai and the entire Jewish people were made by Haman, a counsellor to Ahasuerus, the king of Persia, as retribution for their vanity.

With the help of Mordechai’s cousin Esther, the wife of Ahasuerus, the Jews were rescued. In the Jewish festival of Purim, this rescue is remembered. Rembrandt’s portrayal of Haman reflects the festival’s portrayal of him as the villain.

All About Ahasuerus (Xerxes), Haman and Esther

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