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Collection

An image of The visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon by Edward John Poynter

Edward John Poynter

(England 20 Mar 1836 – 26 Jul 1919)

Title
The visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon
Other titles:
The Queen of Sheba before Soloman
Year
1890
Media category
Painting
Materials used
oil on canvas
Dimensions

234.5 x 350.5 x 20.5 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r., brown oil "18 EJP [monogram] 90".
Credit
Purchased 1892
Accession number
898
Location
19th c European art
Further information

When contemplating this picture it is useful to bear in mind that the second half of the nineteenth century was a period remarkable for archaeological researches and discoveries, especially by English expeditions. The British Museum was a treasure house of antiquities increasingly valued by artists as a reference library. Egypt and the Middle East replaced Greece and Italy as the focus of curiosity. 'The visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon' can be contextualised against a craze for orientalist narratives in literature, music and visual art. The wildly composite architectural system of Solomon's temple is reprised in the frame, which bridges the temporal and spatial distance between viewer and subject. The artist has been so obsessed with the accuracy of his details, however, that the figures seem somewhat doll-like. Trained in Paris under Gleyre, Poynter was at heart a Salonist for whom artistry resided in weight of detail rather than dramatic synthesis.

AGNSW Handbook, 1999.

Provenance (1)

Thomas McLean Gallery, London/England, Purchased by the AGNSW from Thomas McLean Gallery 1892. Purchased by Thomas McLean from the artist 1890.

Bibliography (37)

W. Armstrong, The meeting of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba by Edward J. Poynter, R.A., London, 1890.

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 1999, 'Director's Introduction', pg. 5-7, Sydney, 1999, 6.

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 1998, 'Exhibitions', pg. 20-24, Sydney, 1998, 22 (colour illus.).

Edmund Capon and Jan Meek (Editors), Portrait of a Gallery, 'European art in the old courts', pg. 14-23, Sydney, 1984, 16, 17 (colour illus.).

Patricia Crawford, History and legend in some selected paintings at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1980, 2 (illus.).

A.J. Daplyn, Landscape painting, Sydney, 1902, 33.

Donato Esposito', The British Museum Magazine, 'Inspired by Antiquity: Sir Edward Poynter and the British Museum', pg.22-25, London, Spring 2002, 25 (colour illus.).

Benjamin Franklin, Orientalism - Delacroix to Klee, 'The Oriental Image', pg. 7-31, Sydney, 1997, 18, 42-3, 90-3, 91 (colour illus.).

Renée Free, The Art Gallery of New South Wales Collections, 'The Western Heritage, Renaissance to Twentieth Century', pg. 108-1, Sydney, 1994, 133 (colour illus.).

Renée Free, Art Gallery of New South Wales Handbook, 'European', pg. 36-56, Sydney, 1988, 43, 44, 46-47 (colour illus.).

Renée Free, Art Gallery of New South Wales catalogue of British paintings, Sydney, 1987, 156 (illus.), 157.

Renée Free and Peter Laverty, Victorian Olympians, Sydney, 1975, cover (colour illus.), 25-26. cat.no. 30

Doug Hall, Brought to light: Australian Art 1850-1965, 'Learning from the First Lesson: George Folingsby and Genre Painting. G.F. Folingsby The first lesson', pg. 22-25, South Brisbane, 1998, 22.

Dr Colin Hope, Gold and civilisation, 'King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba', pg. 114, Canberra, 2001, 114 (colour illus.).

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales Handbook, 'Western Collection: Paintings and Sculpture', pg. 17-77, Sydney, 1999, 45 (colour illus.).

Joan Kerr, A singular voice: essays on Australian art and architecture, Sydney, 2009, 176.

Shi Genobu Kimura, Shuji Takashina and Koichi Kabayama, Journey into the Masterpieces, Tokyo, Dec 1993, (illus.). plate no. 5; plate no. 6

Harry Mayfield, Solomon's legacy : a history of Israel from the death of King Solomon to the return from exile, Melbourne, 1993, (illus.).

John McDonald, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'How the west was won over', pg. 12, Sydney, 20 Dec 1997, 12s (illus.). Appearing in the 'Spectrum' section of The Sydney Morning Herald.

Richard Muhlberger, The Bible in Art, New York, 1991, 139-141.

Musée d'art et d'historie du Judaïsme, Les Juifs Dans L'Orientalisme, 'La bible est née en orient', pg.111-137, Paris, 2012, 116 (colour illus.). illustrated in reference to cat.nos. 59 and 60

Peter Raissis, Look, 'Rehanging the Old Courts', pg. 6, Heidelberg, Mar 1997, 6.

Malgorzata Sawicki, AICCM Bulletin, vol. 25, ‘The visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon by Edward Poynter, 1884-1890 - The frame revisited’, pg.21-32, Canberra, 2000, 22, 23 (illus.).

Herbert Sharp., The Studio, 'A short account of the work of EJP', London, 1896, 366.

Wendy Symonds (Editor), Look, 'The Romance of Arabia - Orientalsim - Delacroix to Klee', pg. 14-17, Heidelberg, Oct 1997, 16, 32 (colour illus.).

Peter Tomory and Anne Kirker, British painting 1800-1990 in Australian and New Zealand public collections, Sydney, 1997, 147. cat.no. 1785

Angus Trumble (Curator), Love and death: art in the age of Queen Victoria, Adelaide, 2001, 157 (colour illus.), 166, 167 (colour illus.). the illustration on page 157 is a detail

Steven Weitzman, Cantor Arts Center Journal, volume 7, 'Receiving the Queen of Sheba', pg.31-41, Stanford, 2010-2011, 38 (colour illus.). fig.8

Keith White, The art of faith: The story of the Bible through the eyes of great artists, Carlisle, 1997, 34, 35 (colour illus.), 95.

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Art Journal, London, 1897.

Editor Unknown (Editor), Magazine of Art, London, 1896, 120.

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, 31 Dec 1892.

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Art Journal, London, 1894, 194.

Author Unknown, State of the Art, Unknown, 1993, 22.

Editor Unknown (Editor), Der Spiegel, Hamburg, 14 Apr 2001, cover (colour illus.).

Editor Unknown (Editor), Yemen: le pays de la reine de Saba, Paris, 1997, 26, 27 (colour illus.).

Editor Unknown (Editor), New York Times, 'Authors and artists: Mr Whistler offended - Zola promises a new novel', pg. 5, New York, 14 Aug 1892, 5.

Exhibition history (6)

The meeting of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba by Edward J. Poynter, R.A., Thomas McLean Gallery, London, 1890–1890

Unknown, Walker Gallery 1900, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 1900–1900

Victorian Olympians:

Orientalism - Delacroix to Klee, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Dec 1997–22 Feb 1998

Love and death: art in the age of Queen Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 16 Mar 2002–12 May 2002

Unknown, Mansion House (Guildhall) one-picture exhibition by living artists in 1900, Mansion House, 1900?–1900?