Jean Bourdichon, 'Bathsheba Bathing'

Jean Bourdichon, 'Bathsheba Bathing'

Jean Bourdichon (1457-1521)
'Bathsheba Bathing'
The Book of Hours
France
1498/9
Tempera and gold on parchment
Width 17 cm x height 24.3 cm
The J. Paul Getty Museum

The Old Testament Book of Samuel relates how King David spied the beautiful Bathsheba bathing, committed adultery with her, and sent her husband to his death. Bourdichon portrayed her as a self-conscious temptress displaying her charms, which accord with the highest standards of feminine beauty current in the fifteenth century. This scene illustrated the Penitential Psalms, traditionally attributed to King David.