The Story of Esther

Artist: Marco del Buono Giamberti (Italian, Florence 1402–1489 Florence)

Artist: and Apollonio di Giovanni di Tomaso (Italian, Florence ca. 1416–1465 Florence)

Medium: Tempera and gold on wood

Dimensions: 17 1/2 x 55 3/8 in. (44.5 x 140.7 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1918

Accession Number: 18.117.2


Esther, the Jewish queen of the Persian ruler Ahasuerus (Xerxes), provided a template of courage and virtue by saving her countrymen from a plot to kill them. On this front of a chest (cassone) her marriage feast is depicted as though taking place in fifteenth-century Florence. The princes of the land arrive with Ahasuerus, who is also shown beneath the portico marrying Esther and then again saluting her at table. The buildings relate closely to contemporary Florentine architecture. The workshop that produced this panel about 1460–70 was the most prestigious of its kind in the city.