(b. ca. 1538, Brugge, d. 1613, Brugge)

The Judgment of Solomon

Oil on panel, 100 x 128 cm
Private collection

According to the biblical story Solomon was called upon to judge between the claims of two prostitutes who dwelt in one house, each of whom had given birth to a child at the same time. One infant had died and each woman then claimed that the other belonged to her. To determine the truth the king ordered a sword to be brought, saying, 'Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.' At this, the true mother revealed herself by renouncing her claim to the child in order that its life might be spared. The child was restored to her.