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Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/8-1543)

Solomon and the Queen of Sheba c.1534

RCIN 912188

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This miniature painting illustrates the Old Testament story of the Queen of Sheba visiting King Solomon, to see if reports of his wisdom are true. Her words acknowledging his wise virtue are inscribed on the painting. The depiction of Solomon is clearly a portrait of Henry VIII and the work was probably a flattering New Year’s gift to Henry from a member of his court. This exquisitely painted miniature is unique in Holbein’s oeuvre.