Saturday, April 14, 2018
01 Works, RELIGIOUS ART - Interpretation of the Bible! by the Old Masters, With Footnotes - 90
Dutch School, 17th Century
SUSANNA AND THE ELDERS
oil on canvas, unframed
42 1/4 by 36 1/2 in.; 107.3 by 92.7 cm.
A fair Hebrew wife named Susanna was falsely accused by lecherous voyeurs. As she bathes in her garden, having sent her attendants away, two lustful elders secretly observe the lovely Susanna. When she makes her way back to her house, they accost her, threatening to claim that she was meeting a young man in the garden unless she agrees to have sex with them.
She refuses to be blackmailed and is arrested and about to be put to death for promiscuity when a young man named Daniel interrupts the proceedings, shouting that the elders should be questioned to prevent the death of an innocent. After being separated, the two men are questioned about details of what they saw, but disagree about the tree under which Susanna supposedly met her lover. In the Greek text, the names of the trees cited by the elders form puns with the sentence given by Daniel. The first says they were under a mastic, and Daniel says that an angel stands ready to cuthim in two. The second says they were under an evergreen oak tree, and Daniel says that an angel stands ready to saw him in two. The great difference in size between a mastic and an oak makes the elders' lie plain to all the observers. The false accusers are put to death, and virtue triumphs. More about Susanna
The Dutch School were painters in the Netherlands from the early Renaissance to the Baroque. It includes Early Netherlandish (1400–1500) and Dutch Renaissance (1500–1584) artists active in the northern Low Countries and, later, Dutch Golden Age painting in the United Provinces.
Many painters, sculptors and architects of the seventeenth century are called "Dutch masters", while earlier artists are generally referred to as part of the "Netherlandish" tradition. Hieronymus Bosch and Geertgen tot Sint Jans are well-known examples of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Dutch painters. Rembrandt van Rijn, Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer, Jacob van Ruisdael and Jan Steen exemplify art during the seventeenth century. An individual work's being labelled or catalogued as "Dutch School" without further attribution indicates that an individual artist for the work cannot be ascertained.
There was a healthy artistic climate in Dutch cities during the seventeenth century. For example, between 1605 and 1635 over 100,000 paintings were produced in Haarlem. At that time art ownership in the city was 25%, a record high. Not all of these have survived, but more art has survived up to today from that period in Haarlem than from any other Dutch city, thanks mostly to the Schilder-boeck published by Karel van Mander there in 1604. More on The Dutch School
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