King Saul Falling on his Sword
Inscribed SAULUS REX (lc)
Oil on canvas
71 x 43 inches (180.34 x 109.22 cm)
[Sale] Christie's East, New York, October 19, 2000, lot 47
This composition relates to an etching of 1611 by Willem van Swanenburg the Elder after an original work by Abraham Bloemaert. The incident shown is described in 1 Samuel 31: 1-5. King Saul, in his last battle with the Philistines on Mt. Gilboa, has seen three of his sons killed and has been severely wounded. Rather than be taken by the Philistines, he and his armor-bearer fall on their swords.
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