According to the holy books of the Christians and Jews (Bible), Moslems (Qur’an) and Bahá’ís (Hidden Words), Solomon was a fabulously wealthy and wise king of Israel. He was a son of David and he reigned from circa 970 to 931 BCE. He is considered to be a prophet by these religions, an individual who has claimed to have been contacted by the divine, serving as an intermediary with humanity.
In the Bible it is written that Solomon sacrificed to God and prayed for wisdom. God personally answered his prayer, promising him great wisdom because he had not asked for self-serving rewards like long life or the death of his enemies.
Although his judgement concerning the two women claiming to be the mother of the same baby is the most famous, I like the idea that he wrote the beautiful biblical love poetry “The Song of Songs”.
This painted carved wooden panel shows King Solomon in the form of a rather plumptious early 17th century gentleman. The panel is on the side of the Old Latin School (1610) in Alfeld, a small town in southern Lower Saxony. The building itself is a remarkable example of a half-timbered building from the Renaissance. The building is covered with panels that show the educational content typical of Renaissance Humanism. Many of the symbols indicate the pansophistic idea (God is all-knowing) of the early 17th century. The building is nowadays the town museum.