The J. Paul Getty Museum

The Idolatry of Solomon

Object Details


The Idolatry of Solomon


Monogrammist AS (German, active 1530)




Germany (Place Created)


about 1530


Pen and dark brown ink

Object Number:



21.3 × 32.5 cm (8 3/8 × 12 13/16 in.)

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Object Description

Wearing a crown and the Order of the Golden Fleece around his neck, Solomon kneels to worship a statue on the pedestal. Toward the end of his life, the king became increasingly obsessed with pagan cults, which contributed to the decline and finally to the division of his kingdom. In the 1500s, artists from Protestant countries used the subject of Solomon's idolatry to warn against the use of imagery in the Roman Catholic Church. The rich costumes, the lavish floor covering and carved pedestal, and the rare pet monkey in the corner all show that this room belongs to a noble individual. The large paintings hanging on the back wall show battle scenes, with soldiers proceeding along the roads in the distance. The flamboyant robes and feathered hats resemble those worn by courtiers from southern Germany in the early 1500s, which suggests that the artist came from this region.

July 12, 1887

Henry Wagner (London)


O. Wagner (London), by descent

January 13, 1988

Art Market [Boston]

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