(b. 1483, Urbino, d. 1520, Roma)

The Judgment of Solomon (ceiling panel)

Fresco, 120 x 105 cm
Stanza della Segnatura, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican

The story from the Old Testament tells how two women came to Solomon to settle a dispute about which one was the mother of a child. When Solomon ordered the baby to be cut in half, one of the women agreed to give up the child. Solomon recognized her as the true mother. The man holding the sword derives from a classical figure, either Castor or Pollux from the Quirinal, an ancient Roman palace.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 3 minutes):
George Frideric Handel: Solomon - Chorus: Your harps and cymbals