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Susanna and the Elders - Peter Paul Rubens. 94x66
In painting Rubens (1577-1640) combined expression, drama and overflowing fullness of life. These features of baroque art were reflected in his painting "Susanna and the Elders"On the plot from the Book of the Prophet Daniel. One of her chapters in the Greek translation of the Old Testament tells how two elders saw a pious woman while bathing and, threatening with accusations of adultery, began to seek her love. Susanna did not succumb to persuasion and, allegedly for having sinned with a young man, was sentenced to death, but the prophet Daniel proved her innocence.
Rubens repeatedly addressed this story, using the opportunities provided by him, namely to portray a naked woman, which was one of the leading topics in the art of the master, and to convey the sensuality that filled the bathing scene Susanna. The young beauty, whose tender body shines thanks to a quivering, shimmering painting, speaking out of the darkness, threw back her head and looks in horror at the elders. The contrast of lascivious old age and blossoming youth brings a hint of drama to the picture. But the author makes it possible to feel the victory of chastity over base instincts: inner purity is expressed in him through physical beauty, which he perceived as something sublime.