Susanna and the Elders, 17th century

Not on Viewexpand_more

Sixteenth-century Dutch morality put chastity above all virtues, for unmarried and married women. Sexual intimacy, moralists believed, had but one purpose: procreation. Joakim's wife, Susanna, was the ideal. She rebuffs two elders, then quietly endures their slander (Susanna 44-62). Guido Reni, one of the foremost artists of his time, captured the impulses of modesty and desire in the way Susanna counters the lustful grab at her shoulder with a wary clutch of her drape, and Cornelis Visscher rebroadcast the Italian's concept to an international audience.

Susanna and the Elders
Artist Life
(Bologna), 1575–1642
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
W.100; D.3
Curator Approved

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