The National Museum of Art of Romania
Rembrandt – Haman before Esther
Artwork description
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn and studio
(Leiden, 1606 - Amsterdam, 1669)
Oil on canvas
236 x 186 cm
Artwork location
European Art Gallery, 2nd floor, room 8
Sign language video
Sign language video

Haman before Esther illustrates a key episode in the history of the Jews during their Babilonian exile in the ‘Book of Esther’. Haman, vizier to King Artaxerxes of Persia, planned to kill all Jews to take over all their possessions. His plans were foiled by Esther, the Kings’s wife, herself a Jew. Purim, the greatest feast in the Mozaic calendar, celebrates the deliverance

The painting shows Haman kneeling before Esther and begging for forgiveness while the King points the sceptre towards him, thus sentencing him to death by hanging.

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