Susanna (Book of Daniel)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Susanna and the Elders is a biblical story and theme in the visual arts and has been depicted many times. Susanna, as the biblical story goes, a fair Hebrew wife is falsely accused of adultery by lecherous voyeurs. As she bathes in her garden, having sent her attendants away, two lusty elders secretly spy upon the lovely Susanna.



Visual arts

Susanna and the Elders (Artemisia Gentileschi), Susanna and the Elders (Tintoretto)

The story was frequently painted from about 1500, not least because of the possibilities it offered for a prominent nude female. Some treatments emphasize the drama, others concentrate on the nude; a 19th century version by Francesco Hayez (National Gallery, London) has no elders visible at all.


Susanna (and not Peter Quince) is the subject of the poem Peter Quince at the Clavier by Wallace Stevens, which has been set to music by the American composer Dominic Argento and by the Canadian Gerald Berg.


In 1749, George Frideric Handel wrote an English-language oratorio Susanna. The American opera Susannah by Carlisle Floyd, which takes place in the American South of the 20th century, is also inspired by this story, with King David replaced by a hypocritical traveling preacher.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Susanna (Book of Daniel)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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