Painting on parchment depicting a single scene from the story of King Solomon and Queen Sheba. Menelik, the son of Solomon and Sheba, and his four retainers meet King Solomon at the entrance to his palace.
The painting illustrates a single scene from the story of King Solomon and Queen Sheba. It shows Menelik, the son of Sheba (also known in Ethiopia as Makeda), travelling to Jerusalem to see his father, the biblical King Solomon. The story is central to the ancient Ethiopian book, the 'Kebra Negast' or 'Glory of the Kings'. The book has been described as a repository of Ethiopian national and religious understanding. It is an account written in Ge'ez (the ecclesiastic language of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church) of the origins of the Solomonic line of Ethiopian emperors and explains how the Ark of the Covenant came to Ethiopia. This is understood as historical fact by many Ethiopian Christians and Rastafarians.