Bath of Esther in the House of Ahasuerus by Artus Wolffort

  • Flemish painter Artus Wolffort composed this expertly rendered bath scene
  • It depicts the Old Testament heroine Esther being cleansed upon her arrival in Babylon
  • Rubenesque in style and composition, it is among the finest works of Wolffort's impressive oeuvre
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-4999

To speak to one of our experts, call 1-888-711-8084

Artus Wolffort
1581-1641 | Flemish

Esther in the Women's House of Ahasuerus

Oil on panel

Flemish painter Artus Wolffort composed this expertly rendered bath scene, wherein the Old Testament heroine Esther is cleansed upon her arrival in Babylon. The tale is taken from the Book of Esther, which tells how this beautiful young Jewess was chosen to be the wife of Ahasuerus, King of Persia. When she arrived at the king's house, she underwent twelve months of purification in his baths, after which she became his Queen. 

Wolffort masterfully captures the scene that takes place upon her arrival. Depicted in palatial surroundings, she is attended by both male and female servants as she and her seven ladies' maids are groomed. Her posture is an indication of her modesty; derived from a famed Venus de' Medici, she turns slightly to the left, using her hands to cover her nudity. Rubenesque in style and composition, it is among the finest works of Wolffort's impressive oeuvre.

The existence of perhaps as many as ten versions of the composition attests to its evident popularity. Four of these are currently in important collections in Europe, including the Victoria & Albert Museum (London), the Palazzo Vecchio (Florence), the Staatliche Gemäldegalerie (Cassel) and the Wilton House in England.

Born in Antwerp, Artus Wolffort received his training in Dordrecht where he became a master in 1603 at the age of twenty-two. He returned to his native city in 1615 and initially worked as an assistant to Otto van Veen. By 1617, he had received various important commissions, including the altarpieces of the Ascension and Assumption of the Virgin for the Church of St. Paul in Antwerp. The majority of Wolffort’s oeuvre, however, consists of compositions intended for the open market and private individuals. Several paintings (such as his series of the Twelve Apostles, the Four Evangelists and Four Fathers of the Church) exist in various versions, suggesting that Wolffort maintained a workshop. Two of his assistants, Pieter van Lint and Pieter van Mol, are in fact known to have made replicas of his paintings and were both greatly influenced by him. Today, Wolffort's works can be found in many important collections throughout Europe, including the Victoria & Albert Museum (London), the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna), the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux (France), the Columbia Museum of Art (South Carolina) and others.

Circa 1620

Panel: 19 3/4" high x 29 1/8" wide
Frame: 27 1/2" high x 37" wide
Bath of Esther in the House of Ahasuerus  by Artus Wolffort
Period: Pre-18th Century
Origin: Netherlands
Type: Paintings
Depth: 2.13 Inches
Width: 37.0 Inches
Height: 27.5 Inches
Style: Baroque
Canvas Width: 29.125 Inches
Canvas Height: 19.75 Inches
Bath of Esther in the House of Ahasuerus  by Artus Wolffort
Art and Religion: A Centuries-Old Relationship

Religious art has dominated much of the history of art. From the Middle Ages through the end of the 17th century, a great majority of artistic output in the Western world had Christian subject matter, to such an extent that Wes...

read more

Recently Viewed

Back to Top
back to top

Shopping Bag

Your shopping bag is currently empty.