Collections: Asian Art: King Solomon and His Court

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

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    59.205.16_IMLS_SL2.jpg 59.205.16_acetate_bw.jpg

    King Solomon and His Court

    As in the Jewish and Christian traditions, Islam promotes the ancient king Solomon as a model ruler, wise and just. This painting celebrates one element of the considerable lore about Solomon that developed outside of orthodox scriptural accounts: the belief that Solomon’s influence was so great that he was able to rule the kingdoms of animals and angels. Images of Solomon’s court populated by all manner of creatures, celestial beings, and even demons were very popular in the court of the Ottoman rulers of Turkey; this fantastic painting, from the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, appears to draw on a Turkish prototype.

    • Culture: Indian
    • Medium: Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
    • Place Made: Hyderabad, Deccan, India
    • Dates: 1875-1900
    • Dimensions: sheet: 19 11/16 x 11 7/8 in. (50.0 x 30.2 cm) image: 11 3/8 x 8 3/4 in. (28.9 x 22.2 cm)  (show scale)
    • Inscriptions: Inscriptions: "Hazrat hanat Sulaiman 'Ali nababan (?) alaihim al-salwat wa al-salam" in Persian in black ink on mount above picture
    • Collections:Asian Art
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Accession Number: 59.205.16
    • Credit Line: Gift of James S. Hays
    • Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
    • Caption: Indian. King Solomon and His Court, 1875-1900. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper, sheet: 19 11/16 x 11 7/8 in. (50.0 x 30.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of James S. Hays, 59.205.16
    • Image: overall, 59.205.16_IMLS_SL2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    • Catalogue Description: Solomon is seated on a gold bejeweled throne smelling a flower in the midst of all manner of beasts and beings, both real and fantastic. Nearest to the throne rows of angels face Solomon and peacocks fan their tails. In the foreground a turbaned figure, perhaps a saintly donor, is seated in front of his crudely painted servant. Despite the alternately garish and muddy palette, the array of animals enlivens this painting. Depictions of the Court of Solomon enjoyed great popularity in seventeenth-century Ottoman painting. The vogue appears to have spread from Turkey to the Deccan. Inscription: On mount above picture, in Persian, in black ink, in nastaliq script: "Hazrat hanat Sulaiman 'Ali nababan [?] alaihim al-salwat wa al-salam."
    • Record Completeness: Best (86%)
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