The Queen of Sheba Enthroned

Object Name: Illustrated single work

Date: late 19th–early 20th century

Geography: Attributed to Iran

Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper

Dimensions: H. 11 1/2 in. (29.2 cm)
W. 5 3/4 in. (14.6 cm)

Classification: Codices

Credit Line: Gift of Charles K. Wilkinson, 1979

Accession Number: 1979.518.1


This painting demonstrates an interest in reviving narratives from the Qur'an and ancient myths that were popular with artists of earlier periods. The style is closely based on that of the school of Shiraz of the 1570s. It illustrates the popular tale of Bilqis, the queen of Sheba, here shown enthroned. This is a tale of religious conversion; Bilqis worshipped the sun until receiving a letter from Solomon, inviting her to submit to the worship of one God alone. This folio would have been half of a double-page composition, the other page showing Solomon enthroned.