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Beaune, Musée des Beaux-Arts
 
Susanna and the Elders
  French School

Late 17th, early 18th century
Oil on canvas
H 158 X W 123 cm
Gift in 1879 of the widow of Henri Videau, resident in Beaune
Beaune, Museum of Fine Arts.


The bath scene symbolises the salvation of the soul through purity. Susanna, a biblical heroine of great beauty and wife of the wealthy Joachim, was accused of adultery by two elders whose advances she had rejected. She was saved by Daniel, the child in the lions' den, who sentenced her accusers. The pyramid composition, the contrast between the flesh of Susanna and that of the elders, as well as the lascivious look of the older of the two elders all attest to to the high degree of artistry achieved by the painter, who unfortunately remains anonymous.