In the bible, King David looked out from his palace and saw Bathsheba bathing on her roof. He had the hots for her, but she was married to Uriah, who was away on a military campaign. She was summoned to the palace and after a couple of attempts, King David managed to have Bathsheba for his own. Soon after Bathsheba was with child, so David recalled Uriah back to town but Uriah did not sleep with his wife. They couldn’t hide the pregnancy for long. David instead sent Uriah into harm’s way; Uriah was made to carry a message across battle lines and was hence killed by the enemy. King David then married Bathsheba and they had a son, Solomon.
About this painting the artist writes: “This was a commission where I had great leeway in the telling. I decided to focus on their relationship as one of the greatest love stories of all time, to focus on empowering Bathsheba. So he is serving her by polishing her toenails. The models were my daughter and son-in-law who were newlyweds at the time. He didn’t mind at all. In a way it is a retelling of the story, my searching for a truth that is written between the lines of the Bible story.”