(Esther 15 v.5-6)
Esther. King Ahasuerus, of Persia sought a new queen who was to be the most beautiful woman in the land. A young Jewish orphan, Esther, was chosen. She kept her Jewish identity secret. Her cousin Mordecai, a servant of the king, overheard a plot and warned his master through Esther.
Mordecai offended a high court official called Haman, who decided to kill not only Mordecai but all the Jews in the Persian empire (the first recorded pogrom against the Jews). Esther turned the tables on Mordecai. She pleaded with the king, and Haman was hanged on the very gibbet he had built for Mordecai; thereby saving the Jewish people.
There was great rejoicing, and an annual festival was celebrated to commemorate the courage of Esther and the deliverance of the Jews. This festival was called Purim.
The names Esther and Mordecai may be related to stories about the Persian deities Ishtar and Marduk. Ishtar was the Babylonian goddess of love. Marduk was the principal male god of Babylon. More Esther
Henry Nelson O'Neil ARA (1817 in Russia – 1880) was an historical genre painter and minor Victorian writer. He worked primarily with historical and literary subjects. He also had popular successes with romantic scenes portraying the deaths of Mozart and Raphael.
O'Neil was a member of The Clique, a group of artists in the 1840s who, like the later Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, met regularly to discuss and criticize one another's works.
O'Neil came to England with his family in 1823. He became a student at the Royal Academy Schools in 1836, and sent his first picture to the Royal Academy exhibition in 1838. He began to pursue modernlife subjects that had a strong emotional component. His choice of subjects was considered to be striking, but his composition faulty. Although made an A.R.A. in 1860, O'Neil was never elected an R.A., despite exhibiting nearly one hundred works at the Royal Academy. More Henry Nelson O'Neil
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