Oil on canvas, 229cm by 274cm.
King Solomon, the son of David and Bathsheba, ruled Israel for forty years and was famed for his wisdom.
However, he is said to have had a thousand wives of many different faiths who led him to idolatry and weakened his faith in God.
John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700) had purchased this painting by 1684 and it appears in the 1688 Burghley Inventory which records: ‘2 large peices in Guilt frames (viz) } Soloman’s Idolatry, Moses in ye Rushes}by Carlo Loti.’
The German-born artist spent most of his life in Venice, where he became known for his large history paintings of subjects taken from both mythology and the Old Testament.
He worked closely with Pietro Liberi (1605-1687), an artist with a colourful background whose work was also much favoured by the 5th Earl.