Vashti (painting)

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Vashti, painted by Edwin Long
ArtistEdwin Long
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions380 cm × 470 cm (150 in × 190 in)

Vashti is a 1879 oil on canvas painting by the English painter Edwin Long depicting a character in the book of Esther in the Hebrew Bible.[1][2] Long was greatly influenced by the paintings of Velasquez and other Spanish masters, and his earlier pictures. It was housed in the Museum and Gallery at Bob Jones University.[3][4]


His painting of Vashti captures the dramatic opening of the biblical narrative Vashti’s refusal of the King’s summons. Vashti was Queen of Persia and the first wife of Persian King Ahasuerus in the Book of Esther. Ahasuerus ordered his chief eunuchs to carry out his command to bring Queen Vashti to stand before his courtiers and show off her exceptional beauty. But she was refused. She was banished for her refusal to appear at the king's banquet to show off her beauty as the king wished.[5] She is viewed as an independent-minded heroine in feminism.[6][7]


  1. ^ Academy Notes. 1879.
  2. ^ "Object of the Month: May 2016". M&G. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  3. ^ ""Vashti Refuses the King's Summons," 1878 | Jewish Women's Archive". Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  4. ^ Roncace, Mark; Gray, Patrick (2012-11-01). Teaching the Bible Through Popular Culture and the Arts. Society of Biblical Lit. ISBN 9781589836754.
  5. ^ Berlin, Adele; Brettler, Marc Zvi (2004). The Jewish Study Bible: Jewish Publication Society Tanakh Translation. Oxford University Press. p. 1627. ISBN 9780195297515. queen Vashti.
  6. ^ "Vashti is not a failure; Esther is not a bad feminist | Jewish Women's Archive". Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  7. ^ McCabe, Elizabeth A. (2011-03-15). Women in the Biblical World: A Survey of Old and New Testament Perspectives. University Press of America. ISBN 9780761853886.