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On Francesco del Cossas Meeting of Solomon and the Queen of ShebaThe Italian artist Francesco del Cossa created an oil painting on a panel during the mid-15th century called Meeting of Solomon and the Queen Sheba This work is now displayed in the Boston Museum of Fine Art The plate that identifies the painted tray in the museum explains that this twelve sided tray is a ceremonial tray most likely in honor of the marriage of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba and given to them as a gift The back of the tray was against the wall but the identification plate noted that two cupid figures with cornucopias and coral necklaces were painted there to symbolize good luck and fertilityThe most striking part of this work is the symmetry The symmetrical architectural structures perfectly centers the palace The dome of the palace perfectly divides the arch behind it the highest point of the palace perfectly divides the sky within the main archThe next most noticeable point of this painting is where the figures of the Queen of Sheba and Solomon stand They appear to protrude out from the rest of the painting Each has an out turned foot that comes into the viewers space This aspect and the symmetry make it apparent that the Queen and Solomon are the characters to be focused on The deep color is very striking especially the abundance of reds pinks and purple It seems very bold perhaps suggesting the royalty of the subjects The overcast gray sky is the same color as the dome of Solomons palace Perhaps the dome is supposed to look as if it is made of metal but it appears to reflect the trouble that is about to storm The entire painting is almost composed exclusively of shades of red and black with highlights of blue The use of color is not realistic but very symbolic Meeting of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba
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