ANDREA DEL CASTAGNO
(b. 1423, Castagno, d. 1457, Firenze)
Famous Persons: Queen Estherc. 1450
Fresco transferred to wood, 120 x 150 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
The picture shows one of the three famous women represented in the cycle.
Esther, the beautiful Jewish wife of the Persian king Ahasuerus (Xerxes I), and her cousin Mordecai persuaded the king to retract an order for the general annihilation of Jews throughout the empire. The massacre had been plotted by the king's chief minister, Haman, and the date decided by casting lots (purim). Instead, Haman was hanged on the gallows he built for Mordecai; and on the day planned for their annihilation, the Jews destroyed their enemies.