SUSANNA AND THE ELDERS

A fair Hebrew wife named Susanna was falsely accused by lecherous voyeurs. As she bathes in her garden, having sent her attendants away, two lustful elders secretly observe the lovely Susanna. When she makes her way back to her house, they accost her, threatening to claim that she was meeting a young man in the garden unless she agrees to have sex with them.

She refuses to be blackmailed and is arrested and about to be put to death for promiscuity when a young man named Daniel interrupts the proceedings, shouting that the elders should be questioned to prevent the death of an innocent. After being separated, the two men are cross-examined about details of what they saw but disagree about the tree under which Susanna supposedly met her lover. The first says they were under a mastic; the second says they were under an evergreen oak tree. The great difference in size between a mastic and an oak makes the elders’ lie plain to all the observers. The false accusers are put to death, and virtue triumphs.

(Book of Daniel, chapter 13).

At the photos below, Suzanna and the Elders depicted by:

Rembrandt (1606-1669)

susanna-and-the-elders-rembrandt

Guido Reni (1575-1642)

susanna-and-the-elders-guido-reni

Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)

susanna-and-the-elders-1609-1610-peter-paul-rubens

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770)

susanna-and-the-elders-1653-tiepolo

Georg Pencz (1500-1550)

susanna-georg-pencz

Guido Cagnacci (1601-1663)

susanna-guido-cagnacci

Hendrik Goltzius (1558-1617)

susanna-hendrick-goltzius-dutch-1558-1617

Pieter Pietersz (1540-1603)

susanna-lastman-pieter-pietersz

Ludovico Carracci (1555-1619)

susanna-ludovico-carracci

Pietro della Vecchia (1603-1678)

susanna-pietro-della-vecchia

Pompeo Batoni (1708-1787)

susanna-pompeo-batoni

Tintoretto (c.1518-1594)

susanna-tintoretto

Paolo Veronese (1528-1588)

susanna-veronese

Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari (1654-1727)

susannah-and-the-elders-by-giuseppe-bartolomeo-chiari

Massimo Stanzione (1585-1656)

susannah-and-the-elders-by-massimo-stanzione

Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678)

susanna-and-the-elders-1653-jacob-jordaens

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