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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

The Fall of Haman: Rembrandt’s Picture in the Mirror of Time


State Hermitage Museum / St. Petersburg / Art

There has been much debate over what’s happening in Rembrandt’s painting, The Fall of Haman. A gaunt and turbaned man in expensive Eastern clothing, and with eyes downcast, presses a hand to his chest in acceptance, or resignation, or both. Behind him, two men wear serious expressions. Is it Haman? In the 20th century, scholars weren’t so sure and suggested other stories: Jonathan Leaving Saul’s Feast? Or David and Uriah? The consensus has swung back to Haman, and on the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt’s death, the Hermitage celebrates the artist with a completed restoration of his mysterious masterpiece. —E.C.

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State Hermitage Museum Palace Square, 2, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 190000
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