TISCHBEIN, Johann Friedrich August
(b. 1750, Maastricht, d. 1812, Heidelberg)
The Queen of Sheba Kneeling before King Solomon-
Oil on canvas, 97 x 130 cm
Solomon was the son of David and Bathsheba, and third king of united Israel; his wisdom was proverbial. Solomon's rein saw the construction of the Temple at Jerusalem.
The ostensible purpose of the visit of the Queen of Sheba was to satisfy her curiosity about the travellers' tales she had heard concerning his wisdom and the magnificence of his court. She came with a great camel train bearing gifts of spices, gold and precious stones. In return the king bestowed on her 'all she desired, whatever she asked, in addition to all he gave her of his royal bounty.' The subject was an accepted prefiguration of the Adoration of the Magi.