This illustration has no clear Old Testament subject. A proof in the British Museum is inscribed 'Psalm 149' suggesting that the line 'Praise for God's goodness to Israel' was the inspiration for the design. However, the later 1894 version of the Dalziels' Bible Gallery, expanded and retitled 'Art Pictures of the Old Testament,' includes a footnote on the contents page giving the source as '1 Chron. 25, 1-7; 2 Chron. 8, 14.'The design was based on Solomon's earlier painting 'A Young Musician employed in the Temple Service During the Feast of Tabernacles.' It was hung at the 1861 Royal Academy exhibition and is now in a private collection. The composition depicts a young Jewish man strumming the strings of his harp-like instrument. He is concentrating so intensely that he has closed his eyes, giving a dream-like quality to the work. In this composition Solomon explores the relationship between music and art which would later preoccupy the artists of the Aesthetic Movement.

A page from Dalziels' Bible Gallery, illustrations from the old testament from original drawings by various artists including Ford Madox Brown, Edward Burne-Jones, William Holman Hunt, Frederick Leighton, Frederick Sandys, George Frederick Watts and Simeon Solomon. Commissioned in 1863, the bible was published by George Routledge & Sons, London, 1881.

  • Presented by Wilfred Phillips, 1920.
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery


Association Artist Organisation
Artist Simeon Solomon -
Engraver - Dalziel Brothers
Publisher - George Routledge & Sons


Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
Dalziels' Bible Gallery
1881 George Routledge & Sons, London pl. 67
Art Pictures from the Old Testament
1894 Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London Repr.p. 153
The British Pre-Raphaelite Illustrators
Gregory Suriano 2005 Oak Knell Press, Newcastle, USA, and the British Library, London p. 330; repr. p. 234
Orientalism, Assyriology and the Bible
Donato Esposito 2006 Sheffield Phoenix Press, Sheffield p. 287
Love Revealed: Simeon Solomon and the Pre-Raphaelites
Colin Cruise 2005 Merrell, London and New York Cat.37a, pp. 88-89; repr.

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