Sandro Botticelli

The Triumph of Mordecai, from "The Story of Esther"

c. 1475
These works belonged to a set of six panels commissioned to decorate a pair of wedding chests. The story of Esther, a virtuous wife and saviour of her people, resonated strongly. The first chest depicted her rise after she was summoned to King Ahasuerus’ palace, where she would become his queen, replacing the disobedient Vashti. The second chest was devoted to the plot of Haman, the king’s evil councillor, who planned to destroy the Jews. Here, Esther’s uncle Mordecai triumphs, his horse led by their humiliated enemy. Botticelli was responsible for the overall design of the panels, but delegated part of the work to Filippino Lippi, his student and collaborator. Botticelli’s work is forceful and simple, underpinned by rigorous logic; Lippi’s work is more elegant and stylish.
Title
The Triumph of Mordecai, from "The Story of Esther"
Date
c. 1475
Medium
Painting
Materials
egg tempera, oil glazes and mordant gilding on poplar
Dimensions
48.3 x 43.2 x 3.5 cm
Nationality
Italian
Credit line
Purchased 1953
Accession number
6086

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