Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Chaste Susanna

Susanna was the wife of Joakim, at whose house the elders of the Jews met to held their trials. On their way to a meeting two of these judges secretly observed Susanna taking her bath in the garden. On her way back they threatened her to tell that she was meeting a young man in the garden if she didn’t make love to them. Despite this false accusation by two judges would have the cruel death by stoning as a consequence Susanna refused and was arrested.

In her trial arrived the Prophet Daniel and started a separated interrogation of the two elders and revealed by this their false evidence. Finally the two were put to death by stoning.

This apocryphal story always was considered as an example of the triumph of virtue, or even as an early example of a good juridical investigation and the use of cross-examination. But for artists is was above all a good chance to show a beautiful woman without any clothes. It’s is possible that Susanna is the most painted nude of the Bible.

Susanna and the Elders (1570s)

This is an relatively early painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Paolo Veronese(1529-1588). So nudity wasn't his primary goal. He was more interested in the elegant Renaissance clothing and the gestures of the two judges.


  1. You should indicate the reference in the Bible, I did not know this story, you made me feel like reading it !

  2. It's more about art history. But I'm glad if you find something new.
    More information could be found easily in the Wikipedia. Sure that there are all the Bible references.