LIPPI, Filippino
(b. ca. 1457, Prato, d. 1504, Firenze)

Three Scenes from the Story of Esther

1470-75
Wood, 48 x 132 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

This scenes belong to a series of six painted panels illustrating episodes from the life of Esther, an Old Testament heroine. Commissioned from Botticelli, originally the set served as decorations for a pair of wedding chests (forzieri). After conceiving the arrangement of the scenes, Botticelli may have entrusted Filippino Lippi with most of their execution. This panel was the front side of one of these chests. The three scenes represented simultaneously are The Lamentation of Mordecai, Uncle of Esther; The Swooning of Esther Come to Ask her Husband, the King of Persia Ahasuerus, to Save the Jews of the Kingdom; The Grand Vizier Aman Asks in Vain for Esther's mercy.