Sacrifice of Solomon

Ciro Ferri

  • Sacrifice of Solomon 2
  • Sacrifice of Solomon 3
Basic information
Ciro Ferri
Sacrifice of Solomon
Date of creation
17th c.
oil painting
canvas oil
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
50 x 66
Information about author
Ciro Ferri
Artist's lifetime
Ciro Ferri was one of Pietro da Cortona's most successful students and assistants. In Florence, he completed the paintings of the Palazzo Pitti's plafond and other interior decorations that Pietro da Cortona had begun. This allowed the artist to gain the patronage of Prince Leopoldo de Medici, brother of Ferdinando II, the Grand Duke of Tuscany. After that, he began working for the Medici family as an art dealer. The artist was also a polymath and an expert in antiquities. Among his close friends were some of Rome's brightest intellectuals of the mid-seventeenth century, such as Cardinal Lorenzo Magalotti and the antiquarian Carlo Dati. Ciro Ferri was not only a skilled painter but also a productive graphic artist and an art consultant.
Object description
The painting is traditionally credited to Ciro Ferri. Nevertheless, the rough and inept execution of the figures, the modelling of draperies, and the landscape cast doubt on the agreed attribution. The plot of the painting is based on the Old Testament story of King Solomon's sacrifice. In the foreground, King Solomon, surrounded by a group of women holding various gifts, kneels before the idol of Moloch. Behind him, the Queen of Sheba, in a crown, is teaching him how to perform sacrifices. The style of the painting, particularly the types of figures, demonstrates the influence of Pietro da Cortona's school.