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Painting Title Samson Bursting his Bonds before Delilah
Collection York Art Gallery
Artist Attributed to Italian School
Date Earliest possibly about 1700
Date Latest possibly about 1750
Description Samson, on the left, is bursting his bonds; a surprised Delilah stands to the right; behind her soldiers are approaching. The subject is taken from Judges 16.15-20. Samson was one of the last of the judges of the ancient Israelites mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. He was given by God a supernatural strength, which he would lose if he shaved his head. After he fell in love in Delilah, he eventually revealed his secret to her, and she betrayed him to the Philistines; however before that happened he lied to her three times about the source of his strength. He told her he would lose it if he was bound with fresh bowstrings, than he said it should be new ropes, and finally that he would become weak if his locks were woven together. Each time Delilah tried to use her knowledge while Samson was asleep to let the Philistines catch him, and each time he burst his bonds as soon as he woke up.
Current Accession Number YORAG : 598
Subject religion (Samson and Delilah); figure.
Measurements 61.0 x 76.2 cm
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Unknown. Accessioned 1951.
Publications York Art Gallery Catalogue - Catalogue of Paintings, Vol. III: English and European 19th and 20th centuries, The Reserve Collection, City of York Art Gallery, York, 1974, p. 120 as early 18th century from Venetian pattern; Oil Paintings in Public Ownership. North Yorkshire, London, 2006, p. 297.
Notes Described in gallery files as 'former art gallery property removed from Messers Gadsky, Petergate, York'. The painting seems to be Italian 18th century; another of the same composition, but containing only Samson and Delilah, was sold at Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 16 December 1998, lot 55, as 'Circle of Ubaldo Gandolfi. '
Rights Owner York Museums Trust (York Art Gallery)
Author Dr Magdalena Łanuszka
 

 

 

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