REMBRANDT Harmenszoon van Rijn
(b. 1606, Leiden, d. 1669, Amsterdam)

Susanna and the Elders (detail)

Oil on mahogany panel
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

In contrast to most representations of this theme in art, Rembrandt's painting is not a scene of violence. Susanna's awareness of her dilemma is apparent in her expression as she attempts to cover her nakedness: 'Then Susanna sighed and said, I am straightened on every side: for if I do this thing it is death to me: and if I do it not I cannot escape your hands.'

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.