Esther and Ahasuerus, circa 1569
Oil on canvas
The Suida-Manning Collection
Rendering the Jewish queen’s courageous intercession with the Persian king to save her people, this painting is an outstanding example of Cambiaso’s most conventionally beautiful mode. Expressing the powerful conjunction of physical allure and moral force, this subject was a favorite from the late 1500s through the 18th century. Typical of Cambiaso’s art, the composition is spare, schematic, and still.