I decided to collect some public domain paintings that are related to Purim and the Book of Esther (also known as Megillat Esther). Maybe some day I will use these for inspiration for a painting or for a Purim design. I did take a few designs of my own and using Photoshop’s patterns created a sort of wallpaper to put on oatmeal containers to give out with mishloach manot inside (gifts of food on Purim).
Getting back to the paintings, enjoy the collection. You will note that many of the paintings are Dutch; because of the Spanish Inquisition, there were quite a few Jews in Holland in the 16th and 17th centuries. Perhaps that inspired Dutch artists to paint stories from the Bible, of which the Book of Esther is one (it is considered one of the five megillot).
The note for this painting of Ahasuerus and Haman at the Feast of Esther on Wikipedia: “The painting is rather dark, because of the varnish that was once used.”
The painter Jan Lievens is just beginning to enjoy a bit of the fame his contemporary Rembrandt has had for centuries.
Regarding more modern depictions of Esther, I was going to put one up by Chagall, but his works are not yet in the public domain. So see this lithograph of Esther by Chagall.
And now to expand our horizons to Asia, here are some Persian paintings that might inspire a Persian style for a Purim painting or decorative work:
I love all the color in these Persian paintings – very lively.
Do you have any favorite Esther or Purim paintings? Do any of the paintings of Purim and the Book of Esther I have posted inspire you?