Artwork of the Week: July 19, 2020
Minerva Teichert (1888-1976), Treachery of Amalickiah, c.1949-1951, oil on Masonite, 35 15/16 x 48 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, 1969.
Throughout her career, Minerva Teichert was a champion of women. She used her art to emphasize the significance of their contributions, and painted both well-known women of the scriptures and as well as minor characters. These women are often shown at the center of the scene, such as in the painting of the Lamanite queen in The Treachery of Amalickiah.
Here, cunning Amalickiah lies to the grieving Lamanite queen about the death of her husband. He later marries her and becomes the king of the Lamanites. In this painting, the queen is shown as both a strong authority figure and a vulnerable woman. Her position on the throne is countered by the soft expression on her face. The presence of the royal children is not mentioned in the Book of Mormon, but Teichert portrays them at the base of a pyramidal configuration, emphasizing the strength of the queen at the apex. The patterns and motifs of the architecture in the painting were likely influenced by Teichert’s sketches of ancient ruins in Mexico.