Three figures. The plot of the Old Testament.
Queen Esther is of Jewish origin.
She learned that the Vizier, the king’s favorite, was going to treacherously destroy her people.
She decided to tell her husband about it at a feast. In the presence of Haman himself.
Rembrandt shows the most dramatic moment.
Esther has just announced her discovery.
She had already sank into place.
The king pursed his lips sternly. Tightly holds the scepter.
It is already clear what decision he will make.
Haman sits to the side, in the shade. He lowered his eyes.
The queen is illuminated by a ray of light.
She makes up a single group with the king. They are allies.
But the vizier is clearly doomed.
Please note that the whole picture is covered with so-called craquelures — a network of cracks.
The picture is very distressing. It survived the fire in the 17th century.
Since then it has been restored several times. Not always successful.