Powerful women throughout history. Oil paintings.
The story of the Queen of Sheba appears in religious texts sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Described in the Bible as simply a Queen of the East, modern scholars believe she came from the Kingdom of Axum in Ethiopia, the Kingdom of Saba in Yemen, or both. The Queen of Sheba has been described as a seeker of truth and wisdom and she has heard that King Solomon of Israel is a very wise man. She traveled on camel to Jerusalem to meet him and test his knowledge with questions and riddles. With her she brings frankincense, myrrh, gold and precious jewels. King Solomon has heard of Sheba and her great kingdom. He has also heard that she has a strange feature, a left foot that is cloven like that of a goat and a hairy leg. Eager to see if the story is true, he has the floor of his court polished until it is like glass. When the Queen of Sheba walks across the floor, Solomon sees the reflection of her cloven foot. Right in front of his eyes, it transforms and becomes normal. The Queen of Sheba tests Solomon's wisdom, asking him many questions and giving him riddles to solve. He answers to her satisfaction and then he teaches her about his god Yahweh and she becomes a follower. This is how some Ethiopians believe Christianity came to their county. The Queen agrees to stay with King Solomon as a guest. An unmarried woman, she warns the King not to touch her. He replies that in exchange she should not take anything of his. He has tricked her, however. In the middle of her first night she is thirsty and she takes a glass of water. He confronts her and tells her that by breaking her agreement she has released him from his. They spend the night together and when she returns home from his kingdom, she is pregnant with a son. She raises her son Menelik on her own. When he grows up, Menelik decides that he wants to meet his father and travels to Israel to meet King Solomon. When he returns, he takes with him the Ark of the Covenant, the sacred container that contained the Ten Commandments. In Ethiopian legend, the Ark has remained in Ethiopia ever since and Ethiopians see Menelik as the first in an unbroken line of Ethiopian kings that stretches into the 20th century.
Salome. This one is part of my Religious series inspired by sacral art and based on the New Testament’s story of St. John the Baptist from the Bible. So here I wanted to capture the contrast between her luscious beauty and the horrific act that she had just committed.
Esther, the popular Jewish Queen from the bible that prevented the massacre of the Jews. Here the concept is to show the moment she accomplished this deed by using her beauty, charm, political intelligence and of course her sensuality in a sumptuous banquet. So here I started with the grisaille technique that you already know with color pencil, now in order to do this you have to smooth out the canvas with plaster so that it looks almost like a wooden board and then I completed it with many layers of transparent glazes of color. I