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Follower of Lambert Sustris
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Follower of Lambert Sustris

Balthasar's Feast

Follower of Lambert Sustris
Balthasar's Feast
oil on canvas
34½ x 28 3/8 in. (86.4 x 71.8 cm.)
Lord Ribbesdale, Gisburn Park.
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No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

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Lot Essay

Daniel 5: 1-4 describes 'Belshazzar's Feast' in which King Balthasar, a descendant of King Nebuchadnezzar, held a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles using holy vessels seized from the Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Captivity, profanely praising the gods of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood and stone. As the feast began, a human hand appeared and began to write a cryptic message on the palace wall, thought to be an atbash cipher: mene mene (to number), tekel (to weigh) upharsin (to divide). Balthasar called upon Daniel to interpret the words, who revealed the menacing subtext 'Thou art weighed in the balance and art found wanting', and that the kingdom would soon fall. The narrative unfolds against the background of the impending arrival of the Persian armies, and the same night, Balthasar was killed, and the kingdom seized by Darius the Great.

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