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Esther and Ahasuerus: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
This tapestry probably belonged to a set depicting the Old Testament story of Esther. A beautiful young Jewish woman, Esther, was the queen of King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) of Persia. When the king’s chief advisor, Haman (front, left of pillar), ordered all the Jews in Persia killed, Esther appealed to the king. At the left, Ahasuerus (on his throne) receives Esther (crowned and kneeling) and agrees to attend a banquet she has prepared. At the banquet (right), Esther asks Ahasuerus, who had not known she was Jewish, to spare her people. He grants her request, and Haman is later put to death. The feast of Purim, still celebrated today, commemorates this deliverance of the Jewish people. In typical medieval style, events occurring at different times are shown together. This tapestry is a fragment from the center of a larger piece that had at least three major scenes and several smaller ones. The story of Esther is also depicted on a 17th century embroidered box in gallery 310.
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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: March 10, 2009