Antique 16th Century Biblical King Solomon And Queen Of Sheba Flemish Tapestry 72007
Beautiful 16th Century Antique Flemish Silk And Wool Flemish Tapestry Depicting King Solomon Meeting Queen Of Sheba, Country Of Origin: Belgium, Circa Date: 16th Century – By the 16th century, Flemish weavers had reached a level of artistry that made their works some of the most sought-after in the world. Antique tapestries, such as this one, were commissioned to be hung on the walls of castles and estates. Many of these magnificent green colored tapestries served as a backdrop for fine furniture and created interiors with an immersive experience for guests. This biblical tapestry is an outstanding piece and would make an excellent addition to any private collection.
Many of the subjects in this antique Flemish tapestry are from the Bible and Torah. This one depicts the moment when King Solomon met the Queen of Sheba. Flemish tapestries were often styled after paintings of the time, as is this one. One interesting historical note is that many compared King Philip II of Spain to King Solomon of Israel in the years before his reign. That is why King Solomon appears in many works commissioned by King Philip.
This biblical account depicts the moment when the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon to seek his wisdom. Sheba tested Solomon to see if he could live up to his reputation with a series of riddles. All of them had to do with motherhood, gender and matters of purity. Solomon answered the riddles using reasoning and miracles. After the Queen of Sheba was satisfied that Solomon was all he claimed, she gave herself over to him and all she owned. In some versions of the biblical account, the Queen of Sheba went on to bear his son. The iconic biblical story depicted in this Flemish tapestry found its way into several famous paintings of the time.
Some claim that the Queen of Sheba in this, and other works of the time, represents Mary I of England and the Low Countries. These were claimed by Spain, which as the story suggests, is an act of submission and a declaration of Spain’s superiority. Another interesting thing to note in this Flemish tapestry is that the Queen of Sheba is represented as a tall redhead (while she was most likely very dark in both skin and hair color), as was Queen Elisabeth who descended the throne after the death of Mary I.
The story behind the biblical Flemish tapestry makes it even more exquisite. The high level of detail, beautiful use of color, and artistry of the religious / biblical piece make this an excellent addition to any collection. It would create a stately presence in any home or office, either as a piece for the floor or wall. A find like this is rare and does not come along often on the open market too often. It is a piece of art history and would make a beautiful addition to a Judaica collection or as a captivating decorative element.