The court of Tsar Solomon - Nikolai Nikolayevich Ge. 147 x 185 cm
During his training at the Academy of Arts, Nikolai Ge was fond of the work of Karl Bryullov, considering him the most acceptable role model. It is not surprising that his early paintings bore a clear imprint of the influence of this great artist.
The canvas “The Court of King Solomon” is a vivid example of such a strong impact. While studying at the academy, students were offered classic themes, so the choice of a well-known biblical story should not surprise anyone. As well as the clear influence of Bryullov’s work. It can be traced in several theatrical gestures, and in the classical composition, and in the use of pure and bright colors.
Despite the obvious desire to imitate the adored idol, Ghe's work has an undoubted artistic gift and the ability not only to correctly build the composition, but also to convey quite lively emotions. For the plot of the picture, a traditional theme from the Old Testament of the Bible is selected. This is the judgment of King Solomon.
Two women came to the great ruler, each of whom considered herself the mother of a baby. Neither side wanted to concede. The wise king proposed to divide the baby in half so that each of the women would receive an equal part. A true mother is terrified of such a prospect. She refuses her claims, just to save the life of her child. The second agrees to the decision of the king. Solomon understands that the real mother is a woman who is ready to renounce the baby in order to save him. He gives the child to one who is not ready to sacrifice the baby, but in the name of love for him is ready to sacrifice her happiness and even life.
The picture is very effective in composition and color. Catchy outfits, a beautiful composition and a creative approach to the solution indicate that the artist will soon show his true gift and move away from blind copying the style of the famous master.