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Collection

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

Sir 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 (137)

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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?