Border with the Queen of Sheba before King Soloman
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Simon Bening
Flemish, Bruges, about 1525 - 1530
Tempera colors, gold paint, gold leaf, and ink on parchment
6 5/8 x 4 1/2 in.

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Intrigued by reports of King Solomon's legendary wisdom, the Queen of Sheba visits him in Jerusalem, kneeling down with two of her attendants to present him with sumptuous gold and spices. Simon Bening constructed the scene as if it were taking place behind a text-panel that discusses the story of the Adoration of the Magi. This image of the Queen and her handmaidens approaching the wise king with gifts echoes that of the three kings visiting the baby Jesus seen on the facing page. Bening used this artistic strategy to help the viewer make the connection between the Old Testament and New Testament stories of visiting royalty.