|King Solomon on his throne being watched by Socrates and Aristotle.|
The structure known as 'The House of the physician' is also known by an alternate name, 'The Judgment of Solomon'. It was excavated in 1841, and is a structure of considerable size. In all the house had seventeen rooms and would have apparently been rather luxurious during its day. The ruins of the structure are in remarkably good condition given they were buried by volcanic ash for almost 1800 years. The structure is now a popular tourist attraction.
|Aristotle and Socrates in awe of Solomon's Wisdom.|
It must be noted that even though the image seems clearly to represent the afore mentioned story of Solomon, there are critics who claim the person depicted in the painting is not Solomon and the painting is not taken from the Bible at all. While the individuals in the painting are pygmies and not actual Biblical characters, the scene they are involved in, or re-enacting, seems to clearly be the Biblical story of King Solomon mentioned above. In my opinion there is very little doubt the person on the thrown overseeing the events is intended to be or to represent King Solomon.
The painting stirring the fires of debate was not the only image discovered. There were several other beautiful pieces of artwork associated with the same house which include a scene from the Nile as well as Pygmies battling a hippopotamus and capturing a large crocodile. The artist remains unknown, as does the identity of the homeowner who commissioned the works, but for some experts, the identity of the persons depicted in the paintings represents a fictional gathering of some of the wisest men of ancient times.