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The painting by Pir Balthasar was painted by Rembrandt between 1633 and 1634. At the moment, the canvas is stored in the National Gallery of London. The painting was painted in the Baroque era and belongs to the brightest works of Rembrandt related to the historical heritage of mankind.
The plot of the picture is quite simple. Before the viewer appears in all its glory the legend of the last king of Babylon - Belshazzar. Belshazzar was a cruel conqueror, he and his ancestors managed to subordinate to their will many nations and countries. No one could resist the power of Babylon, no one except the Persians, whose troops at that time were led by a very skilled warrior named Cyrus.
The Persian army liberated the conquered peoples and they rebelled against Babylon. Balthasar's advisers advised him to escape from the capital and take refuge in one of the shelters, but the proud and stubborn king did not agree and at the moment when his city was besieged by enemies, he made a big feast, at which he invited all the noble townspeople and nobles.
In the midst of the feast, when the wine poured in, and the tables literally crumbled from the dishes, a strange inscription appeared on the wall of the feast hall - Mene, teken, uparsin, meaning the following: Your kingdom is measured, balanced and given to the Persians. The moment this inscription appeared was captured by Rembrandt.
In the center of the picture is King Belshazzar himself, tearing himself away from a rich table to look at the wall behind him, on which, in bright sunlight, the hand of an invisible man draws a sentence to his kingdom and to himself. The king’s robes are luxurious, gold chains and jewelry hang from everywhere, on his head, wrapped in an oriental turban, a crown sparkles inlaid with precious stones.
Belshazzar is surrounded by frightened courtiers; on the faces of women and men, clearly visible to the viewer, misunderstanding and horror are clearly read. The woman, her back turned to the viewer, is so scared that the wine she was supposed to pour into the goblet is poured directly onto the floor.
The overall appearance of the picture is rather gloomy, but at the same time there is some hope for a brighter future that God promises.
Vasnetsov Self Portrait