OIL PAINTING: Esther Preparing to Intercede with Abasuerus, 1633
Esther, the Jewish wife of the Persian king Assuerus (Xerxes I, 485-464 B.C.), is the main character in this painting by Rembrandt. Orphaned at an early age, Esther was brought up in the family of her older cousin Mardochus (or Mordecai), who, like many other Jews, was a captive of Persia. The king of that time, Assuerus (Ahasuerus), was looking for a new wife, and many pretty girls were taken into his harem, among them was Esther.