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“Bathsheba” by Sebastiano Ricci

Sebastiano Ricci - Bathsheba - WGA19431

“Bathsheba” by Sebastiano Ricci

“Bathsheba” by Sebastiano Ricci depicts the famous story from the Hebrew Bible in which Bathsheba was having a bath when King David saw her bathing and lusted after her. Ricci liked to use buildings and columns to define the background and to provide a picturesquely decorative framework for the figures grouped as if on the stage.

King David first saw Bathsheba while walking on the high roof of his palace. She was very beautiful, and he viewed her bathing in her house. He was immediately attracted to her and ordered enquiries and found out that she was Bathsheba, wife of Uriah a soldier in David’s army. David desired her greatly and organised to meet her and later made her pregnant. The text in the Bible does not explicitly state as to whether Bathsheba consented or not.

After Bathsheba became pregnant, the king gave orders to his war general that Uriah, Bathsheba first husband, should be placed on the front lines of the battle to meet his fate. After Uriah had been killed, David married Bathsheba. Bathsheba’s first child by David was struck with a severe illness and died, unnamed, a few days after birth, which the king accepted as his punishment for his sin. Later Bathsheba gave birth to Solomon, who succeeded David as king.

Sebastiano Ricci was an Italian painter who trained in Venice and became a great travelling baroque painter.  He specialised frescos and paintings for churches and palaces, depicting biblical and mythological compositions.


  • Title:                    Bathsheba
  • Artist:                  Sebastiano Ricci
  • Year:                    1725
  • Type:                   Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:      109 cm (42.9 in); 142 cm (55.9 in)
  • Museum:            Gemäldegalerie, Berlin

Sebastiano Ricci

  • Artist:                Sebastiano Ricci
  • Born:                 1659 – Belluno, Italy
  • Died:                  1734 – Venice
  • Nationality:      Italian
  • Notable works:


“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”Napoleon Bonaparte



Photo Credit: 1) Sebastiano Ricci [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons