well your faith was strong but you needed proof you saw her bathing on the roof her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
- Leonard Cohen, "Hallelujah"
The story: King David, from the roof of his palace, spied Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, taking a bath. They got it on and she got pregnant.
The previous few posts about Judith and Salome have elicited a fun discussion amongst some friends about biblical temptresses. Here's what another one of my art historian friends, Lindsey Schneider, says about the story about Bathsheba: "I've always loved the story.... it's open to so many interpretations, whether she was a victim to David's machinations or willing seductress angling for power.... There's a famous one by Rembrandt in the Louvre (which most people assume is a portrait of his mistress, but I think that's hard to prove) that I like a lot. Not just because it's a lovely painting, but because I think he captures so well the ambiguities of the text - in the facial expression, body language, etc." I've posted an image of the painting below:
One of Rembrandt's students, Willem Drost, painted a very beautiful Bathsheba as well: