(b. 1619, Amsterdam, d. 1676, East Indies)

The Banquet of Esther and Ahasuerus

Oil on canvas, 170 x 230 cm
Staatliche Museen, Kassel

Calvinist collectors in the Dutch Republic were often especially interested in Old Testament paintings, as Calvin has advocated careful study of the biblical narrative. Jan Victors, who painted mostly Old Testament scenes, apparently made them primarily for Calvinist patrons. His large pictures of Old Testament subjects are distinctly related to Rembrandt's biblical pictures done after the mid-thirties; his paintings of tradesmen and rural genre scenes are more personal.

In this scene the Jewish heroine Esther, wife of the Persian King Ahasuerus, notifies her husband of the plans of his advisor Haman, here seen at left, who has schemed to massacre the Jews in the Persian empire.