BARTSIUS, Willem
(b. ca. 1612, Enkhuize, d. after 1639, Amsterdam)

Samson and Delilah

1632
Oil on panels, 66 x 87 cm
Private collection

While some of the painter's historical subjects are set in landscapes, the majority of his biblical subjects were set in meticulously crafted, and rather theatrical, interiors, somewhat reminiscent of stage sets. The present picture, his earliest signed and dated work, shows Bartsius's remarkable talent for characterisation, bringing the narrative to life.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 10 minutes):
Camille Saint-Saens: Samson et Delila, Delila's aria