Car Mardochée, le second après le roi (Mordecai, second in power to the king ), 1892 by Jean Jules Antoine Lecomte de Noüy (French, 1842 - 1923)
Jean Jules Antoine Lecomte de Noüy
French, 1842 - 1923

Car Mardochée, le second après le roi (Mordecai, second in power to the king )

1892
oil on canvas
23 x 16 1/4 inches (58.42 x 41.28 centimeters)
Framed: 34 x 28 inches (86.36 x 71.12 centimeters)

Signed and dated lower right: Lecomte du Nouy 1892

SOLD

Provenance:
Private Collection, NY

The present work depicts Mordecai, from the Book of Esther. Mordecai was the adoptive father of Esther, the beautiful Jewess who became queen to the king Ahasuerus. Mordecai held an office in the king's court. After Esther was chosen as queen, he exposed a plot to assassinate the king. Later, Haman the Agagite was appointed to the highest position in the kingdom, but Mordecai refused to bow to him. Haman became so infuriated that he devised a plan to destroy not only Mordecai, but all of the Judeans in the empire. The king was unaware of the nationality of his beloved queen and gave Haman the authority to execute his plan. Haman had letters sent to every governor of every province that on a certain day they would coordinate the total annihilation of every Judean man, woman and child. Mordecai learned of this evil plan and notified Esther of Haman’s plot. Esther revealed the plot to the king and Haman was hanged and the plot stopped.

The subject is unusual for Lecomte du Noüy, who is primarily known for his Orientalist subjects. Although he exhibited religious and historical paintings at the Salon beginning in 1863, after 1872 when Lecomte du Noüy made an extended trip to Greece, Egypt, Turkey and Asia Minor, Orientalist themes dominated his oeuvre. Even among his religious compositions, Jewish themes were rare. He did complete an image of Judith (1875, Dahesh Museum of Art), depicting the profile of a woman in exotic dress and the traditional head-dress worn by married women from Bethlehem, as well as a composition Rabbis Commenting on the Bible on Saturday (1882, London, Guildhall Art Gallery). Additionally, Lecomte du Noüy’s first wife was the grand-daughter of Adolphe Crémieux, the former French Minister of Justice who withdrew from political office to become president of the Alliance Israélite Universelle in the 1860s. Lecomte du Noüy painted a portrait of Crémieux (1878), now at the Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme in Paris.

Jean Jules Antoine Lecomte de Noüy (French, 1842 - 1923)

Jean Jules Antoine Lecomte du Noüy came from a noble Piedmontese family, living in France. He entered into the studio of Gleyre in 1861 at the age of 19, and later entered into the studio of Gérome, where he was a favorite student. In 1872, he won a second-prize Prix de Rome. Lecomte du Noüy was attracted to subjects from antiquity, and upon completion of his studies he travelled to Greece, Egypt, Turkey, and Asia Minor, making exacting archeological studies. From this time onward, he focused his oeuvre on Orientalist scenes and subjects. He won a second-class medal at the Salon of 1872, a medal in Vienna in 1873, and a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle of 1889. He was decorated with the Legion of Honor in 1876. In addition to his Orientalist paintings, Lecomte du Noüy also completed numerous portraits and sculptures, much like his mentor Gérome.

Selected Museum Collections:
Musée d’Orsay and Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme, Paris; Cleveland Museum of Art; Musée de Grenoble; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lille; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes; Dahesh Museum of Art, New York; Musée national des chateaus de Malmaison et de Bois-Préau, Reuil-Malmaison; Musée Lambinet, Versailles; Musée départemental de l’Oise, Beauvais;

Additional views

  • Car Mardochée, le second après le roi (Mordecai, second in power to the king ), 1892 by Jean Jules Antoine Lecomte de Noüy (French, 1842 - 1923)

Request more information

  • *
  • *

News on the artist

Join Mailing List

  • *
  • *