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Title Susannah and the Elders
Collection Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead
Artist After Rubens, Peter Paul (Flemish painter and draftsman, 1577-1640)
Date Earliest possibly about 1800
Date Latest possibly about 1900
Description This nineteenth-century work after a now lost original by Rubens, depicts a story from the Old Testament Apocryphal Book of Susannah. Whilst bathing in her garden, Susannah was spied upon by two elders in her tribe. The elders threatened to accuse her of adultery if she did not agree to sleep with them, for which she was duly condemned to death by stoning. The young prophet Daniel, however, was unconvinced of Susannah's guilt, and finding inconsistencies in the stories of the elders, freed Susannah, and instead condemned them.
Current Accession Number TWCMS:G1191
Former Accession Number SAG 494
Subject religion (Susannah and the Elders); figure
Measurements 167.5 x 123.8 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by J. A. D. Shipley, 1909.
Publications Catalogue of the Shipley Collection, 1917, no. 494; Catalogue of the Shipley Collection, 1921, no. 494; Catalogue of the Shipley Collection, 1951, no. 494.

This work is copy of Lucas Vosterman the Elder's engraving of 1618, after Rubens' now lost original. However, Rubens' work is visible in Jan Steen's Il Vecchio Malato in Moscow. The 1967 Bulletin des Musées Royaux des Beaux Arts de Belgique, Brussels, pp. 7-21, carries a photo of another version of the Shipley work, 'P.P. Rubens. . .e il Tema della Susanna Al Bagno', in the Adolf Schung Collection, Ansbach. Rubens also painted two other versions of Susannah and the Elders. The one that is most closely related to the Shipley work is is dated 1607-8 and is in the Galerie Borghese in Rome. Though in this work we see Susannah from the other side, and therefore more frontally, the basic format is very similar. The other version was painted in 1609-10 and is in the Museo de la Real Academia de San Fernando, Madrid.

Rights Owner The Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead (Tyne and Wear Museums)
Author Elizabeth van der Beugel



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