Oil on canvas, 49cm by 65.5cm.
The story of the Queen of Sheba’s meeting with Solomon was a popular subject in Italian Renaissance art. She is thought to have arrived in Jerusalem with a vast camel train of spices, gold and precious stones, after an epic journey, travelling from Arabia Felix (modern day Yemen) through Ethiopia, Egypt and along the coast of the Red Sea.
Tassi was primarily a painter of landscapes and seascapes and is said to have acquired material for the latter whilst working as a galley slave in one of the Florentine Grand Duke’s convict galleys. Today, he is perhaps chiefly remembered for the infamous rape of Artemisia Gentileschi, committed whilst working with her father.