The Ultimate Test of Love and Justice in this Painting

Rubens’ tale of two mothers and a king

Christopher P Jones

--

The Judgement of Solomon (c. 1617) by Peter Paul Rubens and workshop. Oil on canvas. 234 × 303 cm. National Gallery of Denmark (Statens Museum for Kunst), Copenhagen, Denmark. Image source SMK OPEN (open access)

At the heart of this painting is one of the great biblical tales of truth and justice, as told in the first Book of Kings (3:16–28).

Amid shimmering satins and baroque architecture, the image shows the moment when King Solomon was asked to settle a torrid dispute between two women.

--

--